North Spirit, NV (5189’)

NW of Laughlin

pics by Harlan W. S.
Feb 23, 2008


The granites of Spirit Mountain are fairly young – about 17 million years.  Immediately to the N are much older rocks (more than a billion years) that were intruded by the Spirit Mountain Pluton. North Spirit is made of the old gneisses.


Years back, I saw this peak from the top of Spirit, and wondered about the possibility of a loop over both peaks. This hike was an attempt to scout out the route, and look at the Proterozoic rocks on the N end of the pluton.  My trip was an offshoot from an LVMC trip to Spirit Mountain proper; the other folks went up the traditional granite peak.


The trip began somewhat inauspiciously, when I gave Joel incorrect directions to my house.  Then on the way down, we drove through rain, and finally into a cloud near Searchlight.  The campsite was foggy, damp and cold, but the next day dawned bright and clear.




100k topo.  The red track denotes the traditional

Spirit hike; the blue is for the northern peak.


24k topo for northern peak.There is an old rough road for about a mile. On the way down, I stayed W of the wash below 3500’, and found much better footing, allowing me to jog.  The round trip took about 3h 20m, with a substantial stay on top, and was ~6.5 miles with ~2500’ elevation gain accumulated.


We camped in rain and clouds at Christmas Tree Pass. The yellow blob at left is Bob G; at right, the fainter orange blob is Joel B.






The next morn, I start at the SE end of the blue route.  This view is to the NW; the peak at R is the N summit. The lighter rocks at L are from the 17 Ma Spirit Mt pluton; the darker rocks at R are the much older gneisses.


View W toward alternative Spirit Mt. access.





Rough granite spires to S.


View SW to northern end of Spirit proper.


View NE to Lake Mojave, as seen from gneiss ridge.






View NW up ridge.





View S from summit of north peak


View E.  Hualapai Mts are in distance.


View NNE; Copper Mt looks unimpressive from this angle.





View W to Castle (CA), Hart (NV) and Clark (CA).


MacLeod and Lilley register. The incorrect elevation is something of a mystery, since older maps also assign 5189’ to this peak. The GPS gave ~5200’ at the summit.






Previous visitor was Nevada Bob.



Dang itchy foot!





A closer view S to Spirit.  There is an apparent diagonal “weakness”; however, there is a rough airy edge (hidden from view) that one must cross to get to the true summit of Spirit.  (In the photo, the true summit is visible at L.)


This photo was taken looking up; the terrain is nearly vertical.  I came down this, unwisely, after deciding to descend S from the north peak.  I think it would be best to look for a descent route on the sides of this stuff.


View W from the saddle between Spirit and North Spirit.  This ravine looks OK for ascent.  Note the broad gravel road to the valley.





Another view toward the unknown road.


On the route down, one encounters some small, mellow dryfalls.


Stope blocks of amphibolites in the granites.