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Hiking Las Vegas Blog
It's that time again. If you have family and friends that are into hiking, I have some great suggestions for you that your family or friends will like.
I love books and have written a few. Hiking Las Vegas has been the best selling hiking book for the Las Vegas area for over a decade. It contains hikes from Red Rock, Lake Mead Area, and Mt. Charleston. It has tons of photos, GPS waypoints and complete driving and hiking directions. Buy it from Amazon.
Have you heard of the 52 Peak Club? You can't buy the genuine cards without hiking to the peaks, but you can buy the consumer deck with a mouse click. The faces differ slightly; the back design is totally different and each card back has a famous motivational saying on it. The deck consist of 54 cards. Buy it here.
It's cold in Vegas, but you can hike in warmer weather. The Lake Mead area is normally 5 to 7 degrees warmer than Las Vegas and 25 degrees warmer than the peaks at Red Rock!
Lake Mead Hikes
Death Valley is less than two hours from Las Vegas and at least 15 degrees warmer. It offers some very unique hikes and believe it or not, it's very scenic. One word of advice: Don't do these hikes if it's windy.
China Date Ranch
China Date Ranch has some of the most unique hiking in the country! All the mountains are dirt. After the hike, make sure to get a Date Shake.
YouTube: Over 200 informational and inspirational hiking videos, .
Facebook: Facebook group focusing on hiking around Las Vegas.
Google Blog: Over 500 articles about hiking.
52 Peak Club: The best and safest hiking club in Las Vegas.
Photos of Peaks: Over 100 photos of peaks around Las Vegas.
Family Hikes: Suggestions of hikes the whole family can enjoy.
Hiking Safety: How to have a safe hike.
15 hikers celebrated Thanksgiving morning by hiking to Crabby Appleton Peak in Red Rock Canyon. The hike begins at Pine Creek parking lot and trailhead. We followed Pine Creek Trail about one mile into the South fork of Pine Creek. Once in the wash it's about 20 minutes to the divide. We headed into the South - South fork of the canyon. Soon we came to the unmarked turnoff where we left the wash.
The rest of the hike is class 1 to 3 scrambling and is only marked with cairns (small stacks of rocks). This route has several places of exposure. The route was entirely in the shade until we reached the summit. We took a short break before heading down. Even though the summit was in the sun, it was cool and the breeze made it cold for some.
The descent route is entirely different from the ascent route making this hike a round trip adventure. As the photos show there's some exposure on the descent route. The entire hike took us 3.5 hours at a moderate pace, but we made zero navigational mistakes.
Here are the stats:
Hike: Crabby Appleton Peak — route
Trailhead: Pine Creek — marked
Distance: 6 miles — round trip
Elevation gain: 1,900 feet
Elevation peak: 5,380
Time: 4 to 5 hours – round trip
How did this peak get its name? I named it after the wall that stands below the peak. Rock climbers named the wall: Crabby Appleton. You will have to ask them "Why".
You might have heard that most hiking and mountaineering accidents occur while descending. The reason is pretty obvious if you think about it: hikers are tired both physically and mentally. If you have been out for five hard hours and you still have another 40 minutes of bouldering through a canyon, you shouldn't let you guard down, but some hikers do. It's human nature.
But I think there's another reason why accidents happen that most people don't think about. Your balance is not as good if your legs are tired. I have seen good hikers trip and stumble during descents on easy class two terrain. It had been a long day and I am sure their legs were shot.
Here's another fact to back up my point. Today in the gym I went extra hard during spin class. Walking down the stairs after the class I could feel how tired my legs were. As I balanced on the Bosu ball, like I do every workout, I could not keep my balance. Everything else was the same: same ball, same floor, and same shoes. It had to be my legs. Obviously my balance could not change that much in one day.
How can you benefit from what I am writing about here? First, be aware that your balance will not be as good while descending after a hard hike. Take less chances and stay alert. Second, work on your balance. Most gyms have Bosu balls. Here's a video my routine of the Bosu ball. They can follow my routine or adapt it and improve their balance. I don't own a Bosu ball (they are $100+) and since the gym has plenty of them, I am not going to buy one. Give me routine a try. Of course, you can modify it.
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