Yoga Pk from Pine Crk Pk ridge
This is a seldom visited point at the top of the ridge that climbs over 1,200’ steeply to the west above the Mescalito in Pine Creek. There are various routes available for reaching the summit of which my preference is up Fern creek with a loop back to the southwest to return via the north fork of Pine creek. The elevation gain to the summit is about 2,700’ and time required for the climb is a minimum of 6 hours for a fit climber. Distance traveled to reach the summit and return using the loop route is an estimated 8 miles. The views surrounding this summit are outstanding with the view east looking down to the Mescalito framed by the city of Las Vegas in the background especially enjoyable. To the north is Bridge Mountain and to the south is Rainbow Mountain with its various shades of red sandstone layers.
From Charleston Blvd and the 215 Beltway in the western part of Las Vegas, take Charleston Blvd. (Highway 159) west for about 5 miles until you reach the entrance to Red Rock Canyon NCA. Once inside the park, follow the 13 mile loop road for about 10 miles to the Pine Creek trailhead parking area. You should allow about 30 minutes driving time from the strip to the entrance station.
Begin hiking west into Pine Creek Canyon. There is an old foundation you will encounter on your left as you make your way in. To this point you have been following a trail which forks. Take the right fork of the trail. As you approach, the pyramid-shaped Mescalito Peak towers before you. Mescalito splits Pine Creek canyon into two forks. You must stay to the right side of the Mescalito which is Fern Creek canyon and proceed up canyon. As you hike in further, the trail ends near the base of the Dark Shadows technical route on the NE corner of the Mescalito.
Hop across the creek and basically follow the left side of the canyon next to the walls as you boulder over various rocks. Work your way up canyon to a huge boulder that sits above a pool blocking the left side of the canyon.
Large boulders by pool
Cross to the right and up to the base of this boulder looking for a hole that allows you to pass back under the boulder and upstream of the large pool. You can scramble up the left side of the canyon to get above the boulder at this point and continue up the canyon.
Waterfall and view of S Fork
Your next goal will be a usually small waterfall that is coming out of the south fork of Fern Creek, a branch of the canyon that heads to the left of the main canyon you have been following. Looking up the south fork, you will see the summit block of Yoga peak. To get into this canyon, you must cross over and scramble up the right side of the main canyon climbing perhaps a hundred feet before descending back into the canyon and crossing back to a broken scree ridge forming the left side of the main canyon upstream of this location. Cliffs guard the south fork to your left except in this one small brushy section several hundred yards upstream.
route to s fork
Climb up to the top of this brushy ridge to an impressive wall that has decent hand and footholds enabling an ascending traverse to your left to a point above the south fork on your left. From this point you can descend gradually down into the south fork, heading upstream, and cross it cutting back (away from Yoga and toward Mescalito) up the left side of the south fork climbing out of it and left toward a saddle in the ridge running between Mescalito and Yoga peaks.
climbing to ridgetop
When you reach the ridge top, cross it and turn right. Climb up the ridge on the left and top of the ridge as you encounter obstacles. It is mostly excellent 3rd class climbing as you work your way toward the base of the Yoga Peak summit block. You will see an obvious ledge system winding around the base to the right at about 6,400' elevation.
Traverse to chimney
Follow it about 80 yards to a tree growing in a chimney that is the crux of the route. Pass the first chimney with a tree and look for a cairn marking the correct one.
Narrow part of ledge traverse
The chimney is above a large drop off into the canyon below and is awkward to climb with your pack on.
A 20 meter rope is a great way to haul up your packs making the 4th class climb much simpler.
From the top of the chimney, head right around a corner and then regain the ridge top on your left. Once again you will reach cliffs blocking your path beneath the summit block and from this point look to a gully on the right side which will take you on the final push to the summit. After climbing about half way up this gully, look for good climbing on the right hand ridge bordering the gully. This last face climb will take you to the top of the summit block where you can head right a short distance to the high point and take in the scenery all around you.
View east from summit to Mescalito
View toward Bridge Mtn
View toward Rainbow Peak
The descent is most easily made heading SW toward the head of the N fork of Pine Creek.
View toward SW for descent
Due to the greater distance traveled, the return takes approximately as long as the climb. The colors in the sandstone along this route are some of the most impressive in the park and there are numerous caves and holes where the sandstone has been eroded over the centuries. The return is mostly class 1 or 2 with a few bouldering challenges as you descend the canyon.
View down canyon on descent
National Park entrance fees apply in Red Rock National Conservation area. Hours of operations vary by season. See Red Rock NCA Home Page
There is a campground located south of SR159 two miles east of the entrance to RRCNCA. There is no developed campground within Red Rock NCA, although backcountry camping with a permit is allowed.
When to Climb
Spring and Fall are the peak seasons as it becomes extremely hot in the summer. Winter can be an excellent time as well unless snow and ice accumulate from winter storms making the scrambling too hazardous. This is most likely to occur in January and February.