Wilson Ridge (8467')

H.W. Stockman
Saturday May 22, 2004

This is the highest limestone peak WNW of Red Rock, and just NNE of Torino Ranch ("Roberts Ranch" on older maps), on the E side of Lovell Canyon. This trailless hike is accessed by driving west from Vegas on route 160. About 3 miles west of the hamlet of Mountain Springs, turn N (right) on Lovell Canyon Road. Follow the paved road 11.2 miles north, till just before the turnoff to Trout Canyon, and right before the posted Torino Ranch (please keep south of the posted private lands). Park the car on the broad west shoulder. The temperature was moderate; but this hike starts below 5800', and will be very hot and dry by summer.

The area was extensively burned in the Lost Cabin Fire in 2002, but... "Her ashes new-create another heir, As great in admiration as herself." The slopes are still covered with burned trees, and if nothing else, the very open terrain now makes for easy walking. There is a stark new beauty; the slopes have become seeded with abundant wildflowers. The top of the ridge was not burned, and is brushy with modestly thick pinyon and juniper. However, you can usually walk around rough spots, and most of the bushes are benign (thornless!) manzanitas.

 There were beautiful Palmer penstemons everywhere, and inexplicably, I didn't photograph them that day -- but here is what they look like.

I have wanted to explore the ridges east of this highpoint, right to the overlook onto White Rock Hills. But on this day, I had promised my compatriots this would be a "moderate to easy" hike; as it was, we did 2800' vertical feet with a round trip of 6.14 miles. My friends were cheerful and happy; some were going to compete in "Corporate Challenge" the next day, and rather late I realized that perhaps I should set a limit to our exertion!

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% (or less) 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!

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GPS trace of the trip.

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Verbena.

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Alda chugs up the first hill.

 

 

 

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Prostrate purple penstemons.

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Evening primroses.

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Our destination peak, amid burned trees and verbena, and a few Palmer's penstemons (pink) just behind the branch.

 

 

 

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Globe mallows and verbena.

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Globe mallows.

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View SW, Steve amid scarlet gilia.

 

 

 

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Scarlet gilia.

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More view S.

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View NW toward Griffith Peak and Charleston Peak.

 

 

 

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Charleston (snow-covered).

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Cerebellum check, tempered by torn right hamstring.

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View SE at the back of Red Rock. Here is a key to the peak names.

 

 

 

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Wallflower.

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Columbine.

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Alda heads down one of the very rare class 3 sections in the streambed.

 

 

 

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Burned over wash,

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Steve takes a picture of Pierre taking a picture of columbines, while I take a photo of the both, and Alda contemplates our folly.

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Utah penstemons.

 

 

 

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Scarlet Gilias.

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Early Evening Primrose

(a different flower, really).

More verbena.

 

 

 

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Pink phlox.

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Pierre wox through phlox.

 

Torino Ranch in the back, white prickly poppies (and other flowers) in the foreground.

 

 

 

If you want a GPS log or simplified route, you may contact me at

hwstock AT alum dot mit dot edu

Thanks to Kat Green for information on public lands in this area.