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North Peak - Spring Mountains
3 Photosets

mini location map2017-02-21
15 by photographer avatarLindaAnn
photographer avatar
North Peak - Spring MountainsVegas, NV
Vegas, NV
Hiking avatar Feb 21 2017
Hiking12.04 Miles 2,780 AEG
Hiking12.04 Miles   4 Hrs   57 Mns   2.73 mph
2,780 ft AEG      32 Mns Break
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Plan A for the day was scrapped due to too much snow & wind, so North Peak was my backup plan. I got to the Willow Springs parking lot fairly early and decided to park there and walk up Rocky Gap Road. Partly because I had heard the road gets gnarly after a couple of miles, and partly because I wanted to enjoy the scenery rather than drive past all of it. Next time, I'll drive the first mile or so of the road to a large pullout, then walk the rest of the way. After that, the road does get pretty rough in spots.

I got started to the sound of running water in the creek paralleling the road, which made for pleasant background noise along the way. It was even windier on Tuesday than it had been on Monday, so I kept a jacket on the entire way. The road made for easy walking, with lots of nice scenery, so those five miles or so went by pretty quickly. At Red Rock Summit, I turned left (east) and got on the trail to North Peak & Bridge Mtn; they are the same trail at this point, and split after about a mile or so, which is clearly signed. It was very cold and windy along the trail, and I was hiking through snow about half of the way. I could see fresh footprints in the snow heading up, but none heading back down, so I figured I would see someone at some point--the first sign of another human I had seen all day.

At the sign, I headed left toward North Peak; Bridge Mtn looked interesting, but I think I'd want a partner for that one, and definitely not in the ice and snow. Shortly after I turned off, I encountered the other hiker whose footprints I had been following. We chatted for a few minutes, then I continued toward the summit. Just below the summit, the easy to follow trail gives way to a quick & easy scramble to the top. At the top, the wind was howling! I signed the register, then found some rocks to sit between and warm up while I ate lunch.

The hike back down was super easy. I was able to make good time on the road, and the wind lessened as I descended. As I was cruising along, halfway paying attention, I looked down and right in front of me was a rattlesnake. I jumped to the side and he let me know that my presence was not appreciated. At this point, I was wearing two layers of leggings, two shirts, a jacket, hat, and gloves--I was certainly not expecting to see a rattler! I took some pics just to annoy him, then continued on my way. The parking lot was a mob scene when I reached it, definitely a contrast to the near solitude I had enjoyed up to that point.
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