Windy Canyon

Page Type
Nevada, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Half a day
Rock Difficulty:
Class 3

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Windy Canyon
Created On: Nov 28, 2005
Last Edited On: Mar 22, 2006


There are a number of mountain bike and use trails all around here. Since route-finding is not difficult, I will suggest the following: From wherever you decide to park, make your way toward the mouth of Windy Canyon (again, the first major canyon to the south of Windy Peak). I found that staying to the north side of the wash draining from the canyon provides the most easy approach, along with the most reliable network of use trails. Regardless, work toward the mouth of the canyon. It’s not far – perhaps a mile from where you parked your vehicle (if you got it anywhere close).

Route Description

As you approach, you will (not might) notice a very prominent ramp heading up west along the base of the south face of the mountain. You are ultimately aiming for this ramp.

As you approach the mouth of the canyon, you will notice several sub-drainages coming down from the higher reaches of the canyon above. Get into the northern most one that heads up directly toward the ramp I just mentioned.

Though brushy if you drop into this northern-most drainage too early, do the easy scramble up-canyon until further progress is blocked by a very large and very obvious cliff.

From this point, look to your left for an easy exit from the drainage and onto the ridge above. Depending on how far you went up-canyon before you noticed the cliffs barring your way, the terrain needing to be overcome to climb out could vary, though it should not be harder than class 3. Within 50 feet, actually, of the cliffs is a nice little class 3 chute heading up and back left that will dump you off precisely where you want to be.

Gain the ridge above and start up. A sporadic use trail can be followed, or better yet, just follow your nose, staying near the crest (though left of the obvious crags that take the climbing above the class 3 range). Work you way up the class 2 & 3 terrain to the obvious highpoint of the ridge above.

Upon reaching the highpoint, you will have the entirety of the aforementioned ramp visible in front of you. Separating you from it is two shallow drainages.

Working your way down slightly and to the left, drop into the first shallow drainage, cross a low ridge, then cross the second shallow drainage, before getting onto a loose dirt ridge that heads up steeply straight for the ramp above. Following a use trail near the crest of this dirty ridge seems the easiest way to go.

Upon reaching the head of the dirty ridge, you will find that you are at the edge of some steep slickrock leading you onto the ramp. If you feel comfortable, climb straight up (or utilize any of the weakness you can find) to the ramp OR traverse to the right and down slight until you see a ledge system that allows easy access onto the lower ramp.

Once on the ramp, head up. The going is mainly class 2, with a few easy class 3 sections here and there. The ramp will ultimately lead you to a sort of saddle.

From the saddle, drop down a short distance to the other side and traverse along the cliff base on your right. The occasional use trail, and lots of cairns, should keep you on track, though the route-finding is still easy.

After traversing for a hundred yards (or slightly more) from the saddle, start looking for a likely looking place to head up and to the right. If it looks harder than class 3, keep going until you see something easier.

Once a feasible-appearing option presents itself, hang a right and head up. There are a multitude of possible lines of ascent from this point – pick one that suits you.

Route-finding from here to the summit is easy and fun, and you should find yourself on the summit within a few minutes.

To descend, retrace your steps, look for the use trail that can easily be picked up near (but not quite to) the base of the ramp on the south side of the mountain – it runs parallel and about 75 feet south of the route up the ridge you took when you first exited the canyon bottom at the base of the cliffs barring your progress below -, or take any other descent routes that you may be aware of …there are many options available.

Route-finding one’s way from the summit back down to the base of the cliffs above the saddle can present some difficulties. Look for cairns, place your own, or set aside some time for trial and error. It’s not that hard…fun, really.

Essential Gear

For this route, in good conditions, basic footwear, some water, and some sunscreen. Other conditions may require other stuff (obviously).

Miscellaneous Info

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