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Hamblin Mountain, NV

Guide 26 Triplogs  0 Topics
  5 of 5 
NV > Vegas
90 26 0
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,935 feet
Elevation Gain 1,372 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,496 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.83
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
13  2021-02-27 LindaAnn
22  2020-02-16
Hamblin and Jacal
25  2019-02-18
Hamblin and Jacal
6  2014-04-26
Pinto Valley south
7  2014-01-19
Pinto Valley south
5  2014-01-05
Pinto Valley south
4  2013-12-29
Pinto Valley south
8  2011-01-17 autumnstars
Author autumnstars
author avatar Guides 26
Routes 19
Photos 562
Trips 1,391 map ( 11,424 miles )
Age Female Gender
Location Las Vegas, NV
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  4:42am - 6:48pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

A volcano split in two
by autumnstars

The elevation gain is minor compared to a typical summit, but Hamblin Mtn offers amazing views extending into Utah, Arizona, and California. A wide variety of rock types coexist in this part of the Black Mountains, all mixed by major volcanic activity. Some reasonably easy route-finding is required - there are sporadic use trails when you are not following significant washes. The ease of following the use trails depends mostly on how long it has been since substantial rainfall.

Hamblin Mountain is not very high, so all of the warnings related to low desert hiking apply. There is almost no shade, so this hike is not recommended during summer. Three minor pourovers require shoes with decent grip.

The Black Mountains, of which Hamblin Mountain is a part, are volcanic. Some 13 million years ago, the Hamblin-Cleopatra Volcano was split by the Hamblin Bay Fault. During the next 3-8 million years, Cleopatra Mountain shifted to the east, while Hamblin Mountain shifted to the west. Hamblin Mountain and Cleopatra Mountain are now approx 12 miles apart!

Start by walking to the west end of the parking pullout and crossing Northshore Road. Follow a well-defined use trail across the desert pavement toward Cottonwood Wash, shortly dropping down into the wash. Walk upwash (south) for approx 1 mi to Cottonwood Spring. Along the way, keep a sharp eye out for fossils and cactus gardens on the wash walls and rare gypsum-loving plant species on the hills surrounding the wash. The wash is broad and the slope gradual, making the hike to Cottonwood Spring suitable for anyone, including younger children.

When you reach Cottonwood Spring, 2 cottonwoods are growing on the edge of a mesquite thicket. To continue toward Hamblin peak, aim for the cottonwoods and scramble up the pourover directly behind them. Continue up the wash, sticking to the main stem (side washes offer short exploratory diversions), until you come to a major fork at the base of a ridge with a red sandstone base topped by darker grey conglomerate cliffs. Shortly before reaching this fork, the wash passes through an area of high gypsum content. Turn right at this fork and follow the wash around the west side of the ridge to a second fork at the southwestern toe of the ridge. Bear right again and continue up the main wash.

As you hike up the wash, you will notice a low saddle more or less straight ahead on the horizon - this is where you are headed. Just below the saddle, you encounter a pourover with an acacia at the top. Climb up the pourover and skirt the acacia (they are painful to push through), making an immediate right beyond the acacia to cut up to the saddle. At the saddle, look west (right) to spot your next goal - a broad wash approx 200-300 yards away. A spider web of use trails head toward the wash, but following any one is difficult.

Dropping into the wash, hike uphill less than 1/2 mi until you reach a small box canyon. On the west side of this box, climb up a pourover and continue up-wash. Above this point, the wash becomes increasingly narrow and rocky, and the use trail becomes more defined. The easiest choice to climb up out of the wash is the first use trail you find heading east. This use trail is well-defined, heading to the saddle on the summit ridge and your first views down to Lake Mead. From the saddle, hike west and uphill to the summit, with steep drop-offs on either side.

The summit is not marked, but there is a USGS benchmark ("Pinto") a few feet west. Enjoy the amazing views in all directions, then head back. Some of your best views occur on the way down when you can fully appreciate the wide array of rock colors and textures in this area.

Water Sources
You pass Cottonwood Spring approx 1 mi into this hike, but there is rarely surface water. You might be able to dig for water, but you're only 1 mi from your car at this point.

In Lake Mead NRA, you can camp anywhere in the backcountry that is 0.5 mi away from roads, 100 ft. from water, and not specifically signed as "No Camping." There are no established or informal campsites along this route, and the peak ridge itself is too narrow to camp on. There are areas off the route where you could set up a site, but it requires camping back down off the summit area. Follow Leave No Trace principles in selecting your campsite, and do not camp on the gypsum hills, which harbor 2 rare plant species.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2011-01-22 autumnstars
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Lake Mead NRA National Park
    Lake Mead Fees & Permits

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From North Las Vegas
    Drive east on NV147 (Lake Mead Blvd) or from Henderson, drive east on NV146 (Lake Mead Drive). After entering Lake Mead NRA on either of these roads, turn north on Northshore Rd. Drive approx 0.2 miles past milepost 18 to the first paved pullout on the left-hand side of the road. Park here. The unsigned trailhead is across the road from the west end of the pullout.
    page created by autumnstars on Jan 22 2011 7:40 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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