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Banshee Peak Route
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Mojave National Preserve
Banshee Peak Route
Banshee Peak Route
Banshee Peak above Visitor Center (view SW)

Overview

Banshee Peak is the eye-catching craggy peak above Banshee Canyon and Hole in the Wall Visitor Center. This short route runs 0.3 miles up the east side of the peak to the summit ridge. Views from the summit ridge are grand, but hikers can scramble (Class 3 and Class 4) onto higher ledges on the east and west sides of the peak, but technical climbing gear is required to safely climb onto the summit. It is, however, hard to imagine that views from the summit are any better than those from the summit ridge.

Link to map.

Banshee Peak
Trailhead in Visitor Center parking lot

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... this off-trail hike and scramble leads into steep and loose, rocky territory. Be extra careful near edges, and don't climb anything you don't want to climb down (which is always harder than climbing up). Hikers are almost always in sight of the visitor center, so hikers in trouble might be able to call for help.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, even though this hike is short, be sure to bring what you need of the 10 Essentials.

Banshee Peak
Route starts by picnic table

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located in Mojave National Preserve, about 2 hours south of Las Vegas.

From town, drive out to Mojave National Preserve and the Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center (Table 1, Site 0502), which is about 85 miles south of town. Park in the Visitor Center parking area. Park here; this is the trailhead.

Banshee Peak
Climbing towards first band of cliffs (view S)

The Hike

From the Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center parking lot (Table 2; Waypoint 01), the route passes a picnic table and starts up towards an obvious cleft in the cliffs. The route, however, bypasses the obvious cleft because the cliffs are too high, and instead runs up through the next cleft in the cliffs to the left.

Atop the first band of cliffs (Wpt. 02), the route angles back into the main drainage (above the obvious cleft) and follows the wash uphill. A band of cliffs is passed at a low pour-over (Wpt. 03) in the wash.

Banshee Peak
Visitor Center (view N from atop first band of cliffs)

The next band of low cliffs is passed left of the wash, and this brings hikers onto a saddle (Wpt. 04) with nice views south to a working cattle ranch in Wild Horse Canyon and north to the campground.

From the saddle (Wpt. 04), the route turns west and runs up the steep hillside where hikers will find faint use-trails aiming for a cleft in the ridgeline above and left of the peak. After climbing the steep hillside, the route passes another band of cliffs in a rocky gully that suddenly ends (Wpt. 05) when hikers look down the west-facing cliffs.

Banshee Peak Route
Banshee Peak (view SW from atop 1st band of cliffs)

Carefully turning north on the narrow ridgeline, hikers can scramble onto higher ledges. On the east face of the peak, ledges run a short distance to grand views overlooking the campground. Ledges on the west face lead all the way around to the north side of the peak.

Return to the trailhead by retracing the route, always using care when high enough to fall and get hurt.

Banshee Peak
Above first band of cliffs (view SW)
Banshee Peak
Approaching 1st and 2nd bands of cliffs (view SW)
Banshee Peak
Saddle (view S towards cattle ranch)
Banshee Peak
Saddle (view N towards campground and route)
Banshee Peak
Route towards summit ridge (view W)
Banshee Peak
Approaching cleft in summit ridge (view W)
Banshee Peak Route
Rocky gully below cleft in summit ridge (view W)
Banshee Peak
First look over west-facing cliffs (view W)
Banshee Peak
First look over west-facing cliffs (view N)
Banshee Peak
Not so easy to get there (view N)
Banshee Peak
Summit block (view N)
Banshee Peak
Summit block (view N)
Banshee Peak Route
Summit block (view N towards south-face)
Banshee Peak
Campground (view NE from atop east-facing cliffs)
Banshee Peak Route
Campground (view NE from atop east-facing cliffs)
Banshee Peak Route
View SE from atop east-facing cliffs
Banshee Peak
Ledge on west-facing side of summit block (view N)
Banshee Peak
Ledge on west-facing side of summit block (view N)
Banshee Peak Route
Eroded cliffs on west-facing side of summit (view N)
Banshee Peak Route
Eroded cliffs on west-facing side of summit (view N)
Banshee Peak Route
Ledge leading to view of N side of summit block (view N)
Banshee Peak Route
North side of summit block looks 5th-class (view S [up!])
Banshee Peak Route
Sunset (view SW from west-facing ledges)
Banshee Peak
Departing west-facing ledges (view S)
Banshee Peak Route
Hiker descending rocky gully (view N)
Banshee Peak Route
Hiker descending steep hillside (view NE)
Banshee Peak Route
Hiker descending 3rd rocky band (view N)
Banshee Peak Route
Bypassing obvious cleft above Visitor Center (view N)
Banshee Peak Route
Visitor Center (view N from above 1st band of cliffs)
Banshee Peak Route
Hiker descending below 1st rocky band (view N)

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

Site # Location Latitude (°N) Longitude (°W) UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (feet) Verified
0502 Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center 35.04221 115.39490 646403 3878704 4,260 Yes

Table 2. 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) Verified
01 Trailhead 646404 3878700 4,253 0.00 0.00 GPS
02 Above First Cliff 646404 3878626 4,298 0.07 0.07 GPS
03 Low Pour-Over 646337 3878606 4,306 0.05 0.12 GPS
04 Saddle 646321 3878570 4,320 0.03 0.14 GPS
05 Summit Ridge 646224 3878592 4,431 0.08 0.22 GPS
06 Route End 646221 3878695 4,453 0.10 0.32 GPS
01 Trailhead 646404 3878700 4,253 0.32 0.64 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 130524

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