Arrow Peak Ridge

(see also: 2005 update)

H.W. Stockman
Wednesday May 12, 2004

This ridge is located NE of Las Vegas. From the intersection of us95 and i15 in Vegas, drive about 21 miles NE on i15. At this point, us93 diverges from i15; take route 93 N for an additional 20.7 miles. Park your car in one of the gravel turnoffs on route 93.

We started the trip on route 93, on the bottom left corner of the map (below), then went E to the first saddle, N over several peaks, then descended NW-NNW through a wash, then went counterclockwise back to the car. (One could descend via the wash just north of Arrow (peak 5205'), but the route would be trickier.) Total elevation gain was ~3300', total distance ~9 miles. The day was unseasonably cool (75F); this hike would probably be miserably (fatally) hot in the summer. The rock is mainly siliceous limestone/dolostone with sporadic chert nodules, though there is an orthoquartzite layer. I saw snail (Maclurites?) and coral fossils in one place. The rock is normally quite frictional and tough, but handholds must be tested, as this is a little-traveled route and there are some loose boulders.

The route is mainly class 2 up to the first highpoint on the ridge, the 5226' mountain named "Big Arrow Peak" by Jim Boone. The next (northerly) peaks on the ridge require some mild class 3, though there is often a route around any tough stretch. The official "Arrow Peak" on the USGS map (5205') is actually a sharper, more impressive summit. Both these peaks have log-in books with very few entries.  

Here is a simplified GPS track of the route RELATIVE to WGS84. Use it at your own risk. You can upload this file directly to your GPS (assuming it takes tracks this long -- 220 pts) via the free program G7toWin.

Click on any small image to see a larger picture. (Cliquez sur une petite image pour voir la grande image correspondante.) Order is essentially chronological. Even the large images are reduced in size to 20% the number of pixels in the originals. Contact me if you want the full-sized images. To save a large image under Windows, 1) click on the corresponding small image; 2) when the large image appears (fully), right-click on the image and choose "Save Picture As..." on the menu. Be sure to note where you saved the image!


Map and GPS trace.


Starting E up the first canyon to saddle.


Heading N from saddle, over quartzite.





View NE from top of "Big Arrow." Sharp peak in distance is Moapa.


This is a rarely-visited peak. Arkel Erb was a well-known CA climber. Gordon MacLeod was still active in Desert Peaks as of 1997.


View N toward official Arrow Peak.





Penstemon, possibly limestone beardstongue


Approaching Arrow, view N.






View S. There are a few class 3 spots.


View back S; Big Arrow is at R in the distance, and a minor (unnamed) peak is to L.


These mountains to the W look intriguing; they are 7000-8000', forested, very remote.





Looking N. One can see the cairn on top of "true Arrow" Peak, and Peak 5146 in the distance.


Prickly poppies.


View N at the saddle we used for descent (cut left, NW).





The wash down was easy, mainly class 2.


Mohave sage.


Looking back SE at the wash used for descent.







Eriastum (or another Phlox)?






If you would like the GPS track for this trip, or a simplified GPS route, you may contact me at:

hwstock at alum dot mit dot edu