Point 9782 & Quijinump Canyon (Sheep Mts., NV)

pics by Harlan W. S.
Oct 26, 2008


Point 9782, north of Hayford, is the second-highest peak in the Sheep Range, WNW of Las Vegas. (There is a higher shoulder to the NNE of Hayford, but it has less than 200’ prominence.)  Point 9782 has at least 900’ prominence relative to Hayford, and is not easily approached.  Probably the sanest route would be to take the long walk up the gated Sawmill Canyon Road*, and approach from the east. However, the route below gives a spectacular view of Quijinump Canyon.


This is a hike for the cooler days of fall or spring.  Round trip was 17.5 miles, with 5300’ accumulated elevation gain, since one has to descend and regain an intermediate peak, and climb over several washes to get into the main canyon.  It’s tough to do this in the short days of autumn, unless you camp at the trailhead. There is NO trail, NO sure water, and this hike would be fatally hot in summer.


Though this hike is technically not far from Las Vegas, it can take 1.5 hours or more to drive to the “trailhead”.  Take the Corn Creek dirt road off the N side of us 95, between the exits to Lee Canyon and Snow Mountain. Travel to the Corn Creek station, then turn left and drive 21.5 miles on the Alamo Road; then take the signed right (E) turn for White Rock Road 3 miles to the end. The worst parts of the Alamo Road tend to be in the first 5.5 miles after Corn Creek Station; but be diligent, as there are sudden washouts all over the road.     The roads require HC, but probably not 4WD.


This is a rough spot for camping; if you are assured of no flash flood potential, the best campsite may be in the wash (or more likely, your car).


The hardest part of the hike, navigation wise, is that you must cross about 5-7 washes on the way to Quijinump Canyon, crossing diagonally to avoid too much elevation loss. Once at the very broad Quijinump Canyon, stay on the raised bench on the N side as long as possible. The only class 3 sections occur high up, when one must climb 3 very slick dryfalls; some may want a handline.  You must recognize the correct left turn  for the last wash;  this turn occurs shortly after you reach the highest of the 3 slick dryfalls, just after the prospect hole (which is in the S side of the canyon).


I originally noted this peak as a failed summit attempt mentioned in a 1971 DPS account by John Vitz.  There was no register on top; just a few survey remnants, probably dating from a helicopter landing in the 1950s.  I thought the name Vitz Peak might be appropriated, and it was one of few places where I have NOT seen his name in a log.




100k map.  The Alamo Rd continues down to

Corn Creek


24 K map


View E from the campsite, Saturday eve.

Peak 9782 appears as  a rather non-descript

lump right of center.





Early morn view WNW down to mouth

of Basin Canyon


On the way, we see one of the Air Force

radar targets dropped on the range. There

is a similar wreck on Yucca Peak.


We are finally forced down to the

canyon, and the walking eases.





The next few slides show the steep

wall, carved in fantastic shapes.



The walls get too high to photograph.





The canyon contains white fir and

ponderosa, as low as 6500’.








Nick finishes an old can of

kippered herring.


One of the slick dryfalls.





This appears to be an old prospect.  Note

the relatively “fresh” brown color of the rock,

the squarish profile, flat bottom.


OK, now I’ve diverged from my

comrades, and am looking up at one

of several lumps on the way.


Panorama W from 9782.





View S to Hayford.


View E to Moapa Peak.


Ram Peaks to NE.





View SW.







Peak 5146 in Arrow Range.


View SSW on descent off ridge;

Spring Mts in distance


More descent,

Spring Mts in distance.





Canyon is tight.  Ron and Nick had moved

a log down here to help with footing.


By 3 PM, it was so dark my camera

Would set the flash.


Finally we head WNW across

the multiple washes.










*The Sawmill Canyon route involves 4200’ elevation gain, and at least 13 miles round trip.  The canyon road is gated just 0.4 miles from the Mormon Wells Road, and the last stretch to the gate is a great place to lose a 4wd in the loose rock (i.e.. don’t go to the gate).