(NOT EXACTLY) TERRACE CANYON
To the following members, please note that your membership will expire this month:
Please make your
check payable to the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club and mail to: P.O. Box
36026, Las Vegas, NV 89133-6026.
If you ask a ranger for information about hiking Lady Mountain, located in Zion National Park, they will tell you nothing. As the trail is officially closed now, they strongly discourage hikers.
Lady Mountain was actually the first trail built in Zion National Park that connected to the canyon rim. It was built in 1924, but in 1978, the two ladders and 2000' of cable hand-line was removed and the trail was no longer maintained. The hike is only six miles roundtrip and about 2500' elev. gain, but it is challenging including two class 4-5 sections where a rope is most helpful, especially on the descent.
As part of the Club Zion Easter trip, Chris Meyer, Eric King, and I set out to tackle Lady Mountain. After taking the Zion shuttle to Zion Lodge stop, we exited and looked up (and I mean almost straight up) at our goal. Armed with a map, some rope and determination we headed out.
The route follows the Emerald Pools trail for about a half a mile before heading up "the lady". Our only major detour was at this point when we went left instead of right when we reached the first cliff band. We consulted our map and pooled our brainpower to rectify our error.
Eric an Chris prepare to climb second "tricky" section
Although the trail is not maintained, it still gets some traffic and is actually fairly easy to follow as there are plentiful arrows painted on the rocks as well as a few well-placed cairns. We actually saw two other groups on Lady Mountain, a group of six from Salt Lake City, and a couple from Montana. We chatted with both groups as we made our way up the steep terrain. We had little difficulty with the first class 4 section, but the second section, although short (12 feet), was lacking in handholds and was challenging and took some creativity to get up.
Chris showing his creative frog manuever as Joel takes a photo from below
After that section the ascent was fairly straight-forward, although very steep and brushy in parts. We summited about 1:00, just about 3.5 hours from the trailhead. As it took longer than I expected and was hot in the direct sun for almost the entire ascent, I just barely had enough water! Fortunately, by the time we descended, it had grown cloudy (in fact, it even sprinkled on us by the time we returned to the trailhead).
The view from the peak (6941') was spectacular in all directions as we took photos, ate lunch, and rested in what little shade we could find. On the descent, we made good time. We used our rope to descend the two tricky spots, which made it much easier.
We returned to the Zion Lodge around 3:00 tired, but happy. On the shuttle ride back to the Visitor Center, several people asked us what we had been hiking (since I'm sure we looked pretty rough). When we proudly pointed up at Lady Mountain, they were completely amazed. We felt like conquering heroes.
That night we had a wonderful dinner at camp and Eric and I enjoyed
a nice dip in the creek behind our campsite! It's too bad I was unable
to take any pictures. (Editorial note by the author's wife: Joel lost
the camera in the creek. Oops!) It was fun trip... thanks to Howard
& Dawna for organizing it!
TERRACE CANYON... WELL, ACTUALLY IT WAS GUNSIGHT NOTCH PEAK & CANYON
I was excited to head back to Terrace Canyon and to take new people to my favorite hike in Red Rock. Although, it turns out I missed a turn. Read on for the details.
Bob Grozenski, Stan Shebs, Dave Bagaason, Steve Snyder, Joan Conklin, Colin Okada, Rodney Stephens, Austin the wonder dog, and I met at 6:30 on March 24th at the Red Rocks parking lot. Originally I intended to meet at 7:00, but after realizing the Red Rock Rendezvous was that weekend, I moved the meeting time up to make sure we could get a parking space. I arrived early at 6:15 while Colin arrived before me. We talked while watching many vehicles passing through the fee booth. I realized that I made a good call by meeting early as Red Rock was going to be busy... we parked in the last spaces at the Pine Creek parking lot before 7:00.
We started on the trail at 7:05. It was a really nice and scenic walk towards Pine Creek Canyon as the sun rose. Once at the mouth of the canyon heading to the left of Mescalito Peak, we encountered several beautiful blooming Red Bud trees. Dave and I also commented on the lack of water when compared to the previous year. Dave was the only one from this group who joined me last year just after a big storm came through the area. The water obstacles were no longer a challenge. The bouldering for this trip was easier than I had remembered, particularly since there were no water challenges. I had told everyone to bring an extra pair of socks in case they stepped into the water, but that suggestion was not necessary at all.
We enjoyed the terrain and the wonderful bouldering meandering our way south deep into the canyon. At the last fork, we encountered a lot of cairns, much more than I remember in the past. At that point, a portion of the group was ahead of me continuing up the canyon while my group went to the left. When I reached a clearing realizing they were not in sight, I yelled for them. They apparently continued on not realizing we were turning. We all met up and then entered the canyon. The sights were pretty with very interesting terracing in the sandstone rocks with a little bit of water.
Climbing up the steep sandstone slabs to Gunsight Notch
I was interested in getting to the top of the canyon to check out the views since I hadn’t done so in the past. Bob was very happy he was finally going to make it to Terrace Canyon. He had tried a few times over the past few years, but had always turned back. We were proud he pushed himself and made it to the mouth of the canyon. At such point he decided to wait since he reached his goal.
The rest of us continued up. Dave and I kept looking at each other remarking that this area looked different. We brushed off the difference as the lack of water. We continued up stopping at a scenic spot about three-quarters of the way up. Joan had decided not to continue and went down to Bob. Steve left his backpack with us and continued up to the top. He yelled that there were great views of the strip. We all decided to continue up and check out the views ourselves. I grabbed Steve’s pack, which turned out to be a chore for that last steep bit to the overlook.
Colin happy to have almost reached the summit
We found ourselves above an interesting notch/canyon with views of the loop, Oak Creek Canyon dirt road and the strip in the distance. It was a really neat view. There was a peak to the left less than 100 feet up. I had a feeling and it looked like a peak that might possibly have a register. I went up while everyone else stayed behind. I yelled to the others that I found an ammo can. It was Gunsight Notch Peak. The rest of the group, except Stan, climbed to the peak. We were very happy with the added bonus to the trip of bagging a peak. We took a lot of pictures, as there was an impressive view of the Red Rock area.
When talking with everyone prior to the trip, I was apprehensive when Rodney asked if he could bring his dog, Austin. I didn’t think this trip would be a good choice for the dog. Much to all of our amazement, Austin the wonder dog made it all the way up Gunsight Notch Peak! He might be the first dog to summit this peak. He was understandably very tired.
Colin, Dave, Steve, Rodney, Austin the Wonder Dog, and Chris on Gunsight Notch Peak
By the way, if anyone heads up Gunsight Notch Peak again, be sure to bring another note pad for the register as the existing one is full.
We headed down meeting up with the others, and then meandered our way out of the canyon returning at about 2:20. Austin’s paws were getting worn. Rodney put tape around them, but they still weren’t doing well. Despite this, Austin was a trooper and followed daddy wherever he went. Upon reaching the parking lot we found it was packed. Cars were everywhere. The trip took about 7h 15m with a round-trip distance of 7.5 miles. The mouth of the canyon was about 3 hours away with the trek to the peak taking another hour. The distance as the crow flies was about 1.8 miles.
Upon returning home looking at my pictures, I again thought to myself
that the canyon looked different. I then viewed pictures from last year
only to realize we did not reach Terrace Canyon. Instead, we went up
Gunsight Canyon. I never knew the route to Gunsight Notch Peak, but
realized it was out there somewhere. I believe the point when our group
separated was the point of my mistake. If everyone did not follow me,
then we would have made it to Terrace Canyon in a few minutes. Sorry
Bob, but we’ll have to get out there next year so we can finally
say you’ve been to Terrace Canyon. The same goes for everyone
else. See you next year!
Our LVMC group met near the Silverton Casino. We then drove south and turned off of I-15 east towards Goodsprings at Jean. The sky was very dusty around Jean with the off-road festivals that were going on there over the dry lakes just east of town.
As we got to Goodsprings we turned right on Esmeralda. We then drove a short distance to Pacific, and then turned left. This led us to a dirt road that was very well-maintained due to mining in the area. At the fork we took a left and then drove another 1.2 miles where we turned left on another dirt road where we parked in less than 100 yards. We could not see the summit from here as it is behind the ridge to the south.
We started hiking up the north ridge right in front of where we parked. As we contoured around we gained a steep 4WD road up that led us to a microwave tower. We enjoyed a short break here. Then we continued south up the ridge where we had to contour around to meet up with the main ridge that heads SE toward the summit.
Right after you reach the contour and head SE along the ridge you can see Shenandoah Peak directly ahead. After a short distance on the ridge you run into a false peak with a big tower. From here you just follow the ridge around to reach the true summit.
Mt. Charleston and Griffith Peak in the distance
The summit provided great 360-degree views. To the NW you could see snow-capped Mt. Charleston and Griffith Peak. To the east you could see the dust from the off-road races at Jean. To the north was Mt. Potosi. It was a nice sunny day.
Our hike leader, Kim and her husband Josh, had their little one, Nicholas, along on the hike. This gave Josh a nice workout. Initially, we could not find the summit register so I placed a new one on the summit. Later the old one was found buried, so now there are 2 summit registers on Shenandoah.
The total distance to the summit was 1.82 miles with about 1,120 feet of elevation gain. It was a nice relaxing hike with rewarding views.
Summit photo on Shenandoah Peak
A few people from our group stopped and enjoyed a little local "culture" with some locals from the Goodsprings area at the only bar in that town, the Pioneer Saloon. After enjoying some drinks, I and the two people that rode with me drove back and enjoyed the buffet at the Silverton Casino off of I-15 and Blue Diamond Road.
FREE DOG CAGE FOR ANYONE INTERESTED
The cage is in good condition, but is too big for our dog. Dimensions are approximately 2' x 2' x 2.5'. Contact Chris or Kristi Meyer.
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The Las Vegas
Mountaineers hold their monthly meetings at the Sahara West Library,