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Paradise Peak Route
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Paradise Peak
Paradise Peak
Trailhead (view NW towards Paradise Peak)

Overview

Paradise Peak (3,917 ft) (aka Peak 1190) is the high point on Paradise Ridge, the east-most ridge in the north-south trending Tramp Ridge Complex. Climbing some 800 ft over 1-1/2 miles, this is an excellent route onto a narrow ridge with spectacular views to the north, east, and south that extend into Arizona and Utah.

Without a trail or many landmarks, this is a good orienteering route or just a good off-trail map-and-compass adventure. There are many ways to get there, and in this open country, hikers are free to find their own best route except that the sideslopes are quite steep and loose.

For hikers wanting just a bit of exploration with grand views, stopping at the Sitting Rocks is about as good as it gets. For hikers wanting a longer adventure than just Paradise Peak, the 0.9 miles north of Paradise Peak to Peak 1188 are easy and fun, and the next mile north is quite exhilarating.

Link to map.

Paradise Peak
The route crosses Old Gold Butte Road (view NW)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... this is a fairly safe route, but there are opportunities to stumble and fall, so always be careful when high enough to get hurt.

This is a wild and remote area without services of any kind (no restrooms, no water, no gas, no food). Bring what you need to survive. Be prepared and be self-reliant. Someone will find you eventually if you stay on a main road, but be prepared to survive alone for a day or two. Cell phones don't work in this area.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, this is a remote hike, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials.

Paradise Peak
Approaching the old fenceline (view NW)

Getting to the Trailhead

Paradise Peak is located out in Gold Butte National Monument at the northeast end of Lake Mead, about 3 hours northeast of Las Vegas in a wild, remote, and scenic area near the Arizona Border.

From town, drive out to Gold Butte National Monument. From Whitney Pocket, continue south on the unpaved Gold Butte Road. At about 13.0 miles out, the road begins to climb up and across a steep hillside with grand views back to the north. Atop the hill, the road bends hard to the right and passes through a barbed-wire ranching fence at a cattle guard (13.7 miles out). Continue south another 250 yards and park along the edge of the road. There is no off-road parking here, but the roadway is wide enough to park on the edge and let traffic by (this is better than stopping by the fence). Park here; this is the trailhead.

Paradise Peak
Burro trail parallels fenceline (view W)

The Hike

From the trailhead (Table 1, Waypoint 01), the route heads northwest towards Paradise Peak, which can be seen ahead in the distance. Shortly, the route crosses the trace of the Old Gold Butte Road, then continues to the barbed-wire fence (Wpt. 02).

Turning west to parallel the fence, the route runs across easy, open country following a burro trail (a game trail made by feral burros). Eventually the route starts up onto the side of Paradise Ridge contouring around a low highpoint and arrives at a break in the fence (Wpt. 03).

Here, the burro trail cuts through the fence and begins a descent into the wash below on the right. Running down across the slope, the route drops into the wash adjacent to an outcrop of layered red rocks. A few yards ahead, a large, white, pyramid-shaped boulder (Wpt. 04) comes into view.

Paradise Peak
Burro trail parallels fenceline (view W)

The pyramid-shaped boulder (Wpt. 04), visible from a distance, is a good landmark when heading out and returning. From the pyramid-shaped boulder, the route crosses the wash and conveniently runs up the sloping limestone ramp to begin climbing the hillside to the north.

This hillside is the only strenuous part of the hike, but hikers can angle up and across the hillside (Wpt. 05) making for a relatively gentle incline. Eventually however, the route turns (Wpt. 06) and heads directly up the hillside (less than 100 vertical feet) to get above a band of low cliffs (Wpt. 07).

Back on easier terrain, the route climbs to the crest (Wpt. 08) of a side ridge, arriving at an unusually wide patch of Banana Yucca, which makes a good landmark on the way down.

From the yucca, the route turns uphill along the crest of the side ridge. The route traverses interesting layers of strata. Just up from the yucca (literally down, but uphill), the route crosses a red layer, and further up, passes a second red layer, perhaps muds from some ancient shoreline.

Paradise Peak
Gap in the fence; burro trail passes through (view W)

The route eventually climbs onto the crest of Paradise Ridge (Wpt. 09). Paradise Ridge is a broken ridge, cut by several washes that come down out of Paradise Valley, the valley to the west. Farther west across Paradise Valley, Tramp Ridge towers above this landscape.

Following the crest of Paradise Ridge northward, the route runs open and easy most of the way. There are some rocky spots, but they can be bypassed easily.

At about 1.15 miles out, the route crosses a highpoint (Wpt. 09) on the ridgeline, one of several false summits. A nice jumble of rocks here invites hikers to stop and sit awhile. In fact, this is an excellent place to stop because the views get little better farther out. For hikers wanting a bit of exploration with grand views, stopping at the Sitting Rocks is about as good as it gets.

Paradise Peak
Burro trail now on north side of the fence (view W)

From the Sitting Rocks, the route descends to pass a low saddle, then begins climbing towards the next false summit. At the crest of the next steeper part, on a rocky outcrop, there sits an enormous stone mining claim cairn, evidence of historic mining interest in this ridge. It is a good thing that nobody found economically recoverable minerals here, because otherwise this entire ridge might be gone.

For others, the route continues north another 1/2-mile, passing one false summit after another, to Paradise Peak (Wpt. 11). The views here truly are grand, but little better than those from the Sitting Rocks. For more adventuresome hikers, consider continuing north as far as you can, but turn back in time for dinner. it is most of another easy mile to Peak 1188, and then another mile to where it is no longer safe to continue.

Paradise Peak
Burro trail descends into the canyon bottom (view W)
Paradise Peak
In the wash, route runs out to Pyramid Boulder (view W)
Paradise Peak
At Pyramid Boulder, route crosses wash (view W)
Paradise PeakFrom Pyramid Boulder, route starts up hillside (view W)
Paradise Peak
Gone too far up wash: barbed-wire fence (view W)
Paradise Peak
Route climbs not-too-steep hillside (view NW)
Paradise Peak
Route climbs steep hillside towards low cliffs (view NW)
Paradise Peak
Above low cliffs, route becomes gentle again (view NW)
Paradise Peak
Chert geode? See if you can find it.
Paradise Peak
Large patch of Banana Yucca at crest of side ridge (view NW)
Paradise Peak
Route turns up side ridge (view W)
Paradise Peak
On side ridge (view NW towards Paradise Peak)
Paradise Peak
Route continues towards crest of Paradise Ridge (view W)
Paradise Peak
Atop crest of Paradise Ridge (view N)
Paradise Peak
Easy walking atop crest of Paradise Ridge (view N)
Paradise Peak
Rocky walking atop crest of Paradise Ridge (view N)
Paradise Peak
Easy walking atop crest of Paradise Ridge (view N)
Paradise Peak
More easy walking atop crest of Paradise Ridge (view N)
Paradise Peak
The Sitting Rocks: a nice place to sit and eat lunch (view N)
Paradise Peak
Grand views SE from the Sitting Rocks
Paradise Peak
Grand views NE from the Sitting Rocks
Paradise Peak
More easy walking atop crest of Paradise Ridge (view N)
Paradise Peak
More easy walking atop crest of Paradise Ridge (view N)
Paradise Peak
Crest of ridge (view N towards Paradise Peak)
Paradise Peak
Approaching Paradise Peak (view N)
Paradise Peak
Paradise Peak (view NW into Paradise Valley and Tramp Ridge)
Paradise Peak
Paradise Peak (view N along crest of Paradise Ridge)
Paradise Peak
Paradise Peak (view NE to Virgin Mountain and Arizona)
Paradise Peak
Paradise Peak (view E to Grand Wash Cliffs in Arizona)
Paradise Peak
Paradise Peak (view SE to Grand Wash Cliffs in Arizona)
Paradise Peak
Paradise Peak (view S to Azure Ridge and Summit Peak)
More to come
More to come ...

Hiking Down from Paradise Peak

Paradise Peak
Paradise Peak (view S along Paradise Ridge towards trailhead)
Paradise Peak
Route runs down the crest of Paradise Ridge (view S)
Paradise Peak
Route runs down the crest of Paradise Ridge (view S)
Paradise Peak
Large stone cairn used to mark an historic mining claim (view S)
Paradise Peak Paradise Peak
Paradise Peak
Route runs down the crest of Paradise Ridge (view S)
Paradise Peak
Approaching toe of ridge and side ridge (view S)
Paradise Peak
Toe of the ridge (view E down side ridge)
Paradise Peak
Descending the side ridge (view E)
Paradise Peak
Exposed rock layers on side ridge (view SE)
Paradise Peak
Approaching upper red layer on side ridge (view SE)
Paradise Peak
Descending the side ridge (view SE)
Paradise Peak
Approaching lower red layer on side ridge (view SE)
Paradise Peak
Return to patch of Banana Yucca on the side ridge (view SE)
Paradise Peak
Top of steep part (view SE)
Paradise Peak
Below steep part, more gentle terrain (view SE)
Paradise Peak
Descending into the canyon (view SE towards burro trail)
Paradise Peak
Returning to Pyramid Rock in wash (view SE)
Paradise Peak
Route runs down wash past red outcrop, then turns right (view SE)
Paradise Peak
Passing red outcrop, route turns up hillside (view SE)
Paradise Peak
Burro trail runs through gap in the barbed-wire fence (view SE)
Paradise Peak
Burro trail parallels the barbed-wire fence (view E)
Paradise Peak
Burro trail parallels the barbed-wire fence (view E)
Paradise Peak
Out on desert flats, route angles away from fence (view E)
Paradise Peak
The trailhead comes into view (view SE)
Paradise Peak
Returning to the trailhead (view SE)
More to come
More to come ...

Table 1. Hiking Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27, UTM Zone 11S). Download Hiking GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi)
01 Trailhead 756710 4026357 3,090 0.00 0.00
02 Fenceline 756577 4026501 3,122 0.12 0.12
03 Break in the Fence 756226 4026500 3,206 0.23 0.35
04 Pyramid Rock 756074 4026545 3,133 0.11 0.46
05 Hillside 756024 4026579 3,181 0.04 0.50
06 Turn Up Through Cliffs 755921 4026634 3,273 0.08 0.58
07 Top of Cliffs 755933 4026683 3,373 0.05 0.63
08 Ridgeline at Banana Yuccas 755908 4026745 3,416 0.04 0.67
09 Crest of Paradise Ridge 755610 4026921 3,594 0.25 0.92
10 Sitting Rocks 755657 4027248 3,741 0.23 1.15
11 Paradise Peak 755651 4027920 3,931 0.45 1.60
01 Trailhead 756710 4026357 3,090 1.60 3.20

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 180414

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