Black Mt via Poetry Ave (Near Las Vegas)

H.W. Stockman
Feb 19, 2005

I started by going to the "standard" trailhead south of Somersworth. I found lots of barricades, and roads that existed two weeks back were now buried in new home pads. There was a surly guard -- smoking a cigarette and looking like an extra from Goodfellas -- blocking my path in an official-looking Del Webb truck. I mouthed "Vic Damone Junior" -- no effect. I further mouthed "I'm looking at a lot" -- he just glared back more, evilly. Now I know how Ashlee Simpson feels.

So I went to the first non-gated street to the north -- the southern branch of Reunion -- and worked my way east till I came to the end of Poetry at 2750' elevation, which had an unlocked gate. Immediately beyond the gate was an arroyo with sheep hoof prints. In about 0.5 mile, I cut left to the obvious powerlines and followed the "communications road" for a while. This road is long, but you can make good time -- I averaged 4 mph. The road is not very rough, and a car with decent clearance could make it -- if you could find where the road begins. I saw no locked gates anywhere I was on the road. and one could drive to 4100'. On the way down, I eschewed much of the road for a more direct run down the ridge.

Overall, this route was quite pleasant, though long (~10 miles RT) and I heard the "beep-beep-beep" of construction only once, and I saw little trash.

I saw lots of Sun City Anthem signatures in the summit log, from just 2 weeks before. I surmise that residents must know of another way -- perhaps direct access to the comm road.


GPS trace. Here is a street map showing the route to the trailhead. I think there must be a way -- perhaps off Arpeggio -- to get to the communications road.


Looking SE, at about 4200'. Rain comes across the plains.


More view S. The mountain is basalt. with a very rugged and steep east side. I found the ridge walk exhilarating.





View east, to Green Valley and faint rainbow.

View ~N from the summit. One can see the Stratosphere just right of the flag. The wind is too fierce to set up a self-portrait.


Heading back down, the towers come into view. By now, storms are sweeping across the top, and I'm getting pelted by sleet and hail. Luckily, I'm wearing shorts.





View east to Railroad Peak and the Black Hills.


Barrel cacti look unusually vibrant magenta in the rain.


The silver cholla also looks healthy.