La Madre Wilderness Highpoint
La Madre mountain is the highest point the the La Madre Wilderness at 8154 feet. It is easily seen from Las Vegas, and forms the northern border of the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. There are a few ways to reach the summit, but the approach from the Kyle Canyon Rd (north) side is the "easiest". The description starts from what I have termed the Upper Parking Area (see driving directions below). Starting from the Lower Parking area would add another 1.3 miles one way, and an additional 500' aeg, all road walking. The Upper Parking Area has three or four single vehicle pullouts within about 500' of each other.
From the Upper Parking Area, continue walking southeast up the road another 0.40 miles to the La Madre Wilderness sign. La Madre Peak is clearly visible to the southeast, and you can view the ridge you will ascend to the summit. At the sign, turn left, heading east, descending quickly across a wash and up the other side. The ridge is directly in front of you, although obscured by juniper. The ridge is about 0.10 miles east of the sign.
Once on the ridge, turn right, and generally head southeast up the ridge. It is generally easy to follow, and the vegetation is not too dense. For off-trail, this is pretty easy hiking. There is just enough low, sharp vegetation to make gaiters helpful, but not necessary. The ridge continues in a southeasterly direction the entire way, and as it climbs, the vegetation thins. There is plenty of easy scrambling, with the scrambling increasing as you steadily ascend. The rocks are a grey limestone, with excellent grip, but are sharp/rough. The limestone contains a lot of fossilized organic material, and is quite fascinating to look at along the way. The scrambling is enjoyable, and never difficult, with an easy path to be found through each section. While ascending is fairly easy, descending these rocks in inclement weather would be challenging in a few spots--this is a hike best suited for a cool, dry day.
Not too far below the summit, the grey rocks give way to some bouldery-type rocks, and the final part of the ascent looks somewhat intimidating. The ridge turns to a spine of sorts, but the footing remains good, never seems to narrow below four feet wide, and there's no real exposure to be concerned with. Carefully scramble up this section, enjoy the slabs of exposed rock below you on your left, and near the top, the route levels out somewhat leading to an easy final hike up to the summit.
The summit has places to sit and rest while enjoying great views in nearly every direction. El Padre peak obscures some of the view to the southwest, which is a good incentive to hike over to El Padre to gain the better southern views. After you've had your fill of the summit, you either retrace your steps back down the ridge, or head over towards El Padre, which is 0.85 miles and 400' aeg away, which would allow you to turn this into a loop hike.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.