Doing White Pinnacle Peak in August sounds crazy. Everyone knows it's 120 degrees in Vegas during August. I led a hike to White Pinnacle Peak on August 27th, 2016. Let's see if this was a smart thing to do.
It has never been 120 degrees in Las Vegas and August is not the hottest month.
Hike Based on the Forecast, Not the Month
Yes, August is normally a hot month, but on August 27th, 2016, the high temp in Las Vegas was 90 degrees and that was around 5 pm. That's 12 degrees below average. The elevation of Las Vegas is around 2,000 feet.
We were not hiking at 5 pm and we were hiking at an elevation much higher than 2,000 feet. We started our hike at an elevation of 4,000 feet and climbed to 5,500 feet.
"You lose almost 4 degrees for every 1,000 of elevation you gain"
Let's Do the Math!
5,500 feet - 2,000 feet = 3,500 feet
3500 x 4 = 14,000 or 14 degrees
It was 14 degrees cooler at the peak than in Las Vegas.
But there's more!
We were not hiking at 5 pm, the hottest part of the day.
We started hiking at 6 am. It's much cooler in the early morning than at 5 pm.
At 6 am it was in the low 70's at the trailhead for White Pinnacle Peak.
It was never warmer than 80 degrees the entire hike.
That's almost 50% less than the claim of 120 degrees!
Here's the best source for weather forecast for Red Rock Canyon:
Watch the forecast, get early start, and pick your day correctly and you can hike on days that normally seem too hot or cold. The weather around Las Vegas varies wildly at times.
Have fun, stay safe, and make good decisions,
Branch Whitney is the author of Hiking Las Vegas and creator of the 52 Peak Club where members hike to the best 52 Peaks around Las Vegas, NV