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2018-11-16  
2017-04-24  
2017-04-24  
La Madre-El Padre loop, NV
mini location map2017-04-24
32 by photographer avatarLindaAnn
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La Madre-El Padre loop, NV 
La Madre-El Padre loop, NV
 
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2017
LindaAnn
Hiking7.83 Miles 3,281 AEG
Hiking7.83 Miles   7 Hrs   43 Mns   1.33 mph
3,281 ft AEG   1 Hour   50 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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trekkin_gecko
I've been visiting Red Rock Canyon nearly annually for many years, and every time I'm there, I look to the north and think to myself "This is nice, but I want to be up there..." So I did a bunch of research on hiking to La Madre, realized I was mostly looking at El Padre, and decided I wanted to hike to the top of both. I determined that the easiest route was not from the Red Rock side (there is a route, but it's more aeg, and apparently has a Class 4 spot), but was actually from the Kyle Canyon Road side. I found some different routes and put together one that appeared to be the "best" option, with a few backup routes saved as well. I invited Kelly along since she likes peaks, and it's nice to have good company when you're driving 650 miles for an 8 mile hike. I put most of the hike information into two new trail descriptions, so I'll try not to rehash that too much.

We got started just after 8am to perfect temps and great weather. It had been very windy the day before, but just light breezes all day for this one. After a quick road walk, we turn east just past the wilderness sign, and headed to the ridge we planned to ascend. We found it, turned it southeast, and started heading up. We quickly came to a large round depression about 20' in diameter that was obviously man made; we couldn't decide if it was mining related, or an old agave roasting pit. Took a pic of that and continued on our way.

Going up the ridge was a lot of fun, and the higher we got, the better the scrambling became. The rocks and geology of the mountain and area is amazing, and we frequently stopped to take pictures. After a while, we left the grey rocks, and started going up a narrow ridge towards the summit. It was not narrow enough to be called a knife edge, but was certainly narrow. This area was one of the highlights of the day. Going up this entire ridge, we tended to stay to the right, but generally just went where ever it looked easiest.

It was a quick walk over to the summit, where we signed the register, rested and took pictures. This peak does not get many visitors, but there were a few from this year. The skies were hazy from all the wind the day before, so pictures of views off in the distance are not great.

Leaving the summit, we headed towards El Padre, following the edge of the escarpment the entire way. We immediately dropped a steep 450 feet. At the bottom of this drop is where the route from the Red Rock side comes up--it looks steep. We immediately regained 400 of those feet we just lost heading right back up to El Padre. The views are great along the edge. El Padre has better views of Red Rock, but the skies were just too hazy to see the colors. We signed the register there (even less visitors), and took a lunch break. It is possible to head straight down the drainage from El Padre, but it looks steep with a lot of scree. We opted to stay on my original route which goes further west before going down a ridge.

After there, we followed the edge over to Peak 7900, where we would begin our descent back down to the car. The scramble up the top half of La Madre, and the entire walk from La Madre over to 7900 was my favorite part of the hike. There's one small hill between El Padre and 7900, and between the hill and 7900 is that 10 foot wall we had to climb up. The gps route went to the left, but it looked exposed, so we went right and found a crack to easily climb up. Smooth sailing the rest of the way to 7900.

There are two ridges that leave 7900 to the north. The ridge to the right looks very doable, but there would be some brushy wash walking at the bottom. We took the ridge to the left as I had a track for that one. The top part is descending the very steep face through the burn area. We carefully picked our way down, then hit the ridge and followed it. It has less scrambling than La Madre, but in the few sections of it, it's generally best to stay to the right on the way down. This ridge has more brush too, and did get vague in places, but we eventually got to the road and followed it a mile back to the car, finishing up around 4pm.

I was so excited to finally get this hike checked off my list, and it exceeded all of my expectations. We finished out the day by driving around to Red Rock so Kelly could see the area and see what I had been looking at from that side of the mountain for all these years. Overall, a great day.
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