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Lee Peak, East Ridge Route
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Spring Mountains (Mt. Charleston)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak
Lee Peak (view SW from Lee Canyon Ski Area)

Overview

There are several ways to approach Lee Peak, the peak along the North Loop Ridge that stands above the Lee Canyon ski area. The easiest approach is 0.22 miles from the North Loop Trail via the East Ridge. From the North Loop Trail, Lee Peak is a short detour on the way to or from Mt. Charleston (0.13 miles back to the North Loop Trail). For hikers too tired to make the Mt. Charleston summit, Lee Peak offers a grand consolation prize at 11,289 ft. Although not as high as Mt. Charleston, views from the summit of Lee Peak are nearly as good.

The flanks of Lee Peak are cloaked in wind-blown Bristlecone Pines, but the summit is bare, providing grand views in all directions. In October 2013, the summit register was missing.

Link to map.

Lee Peak
Lee Peak (view NW from North Loop Trail)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this route is fairly safe, but hikers should stay on the south side of the ridge as there is some serious exposure on the north side. This is a spur off a long trail to a high-elevation place, so take it easy if you've just come up from the desert and aren't used to the elevation.

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 long hike, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials. This trail is in the Mt. Charleston Wilderness Area, so pay particular attention to respecting the land.

Lee PeakLee Peak "trailhead" along the North Loop Trail (view NW)

Getting to the Trailhead

The "trailhead" is located up in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (generally referred to as Mt. Charleston), about 7.8 miles out the North Loop Trail.

From town, drive out to the North Loop Trailhead or the Trail Canyon Trailhead. On the North Loop Trail, the trail climbs to near the top of the North Loop Ridge. At about 7.6 miles out, the trail switchbacks up the side of the ridge to gain elevation and pass rocky outcrops.

About 120 yards past the switchbacks, the North Loop Trail passes a high point and starts to descend slightly. At this point (Table 1, Waypoint 09.2), the Lee Peak Route departs the North Loop Trail. This is the "trailhead."

Lee Peak
Lee Peak (view W)

The Hike

From the trailhead (Wpt. 09.2), the route follows a faint use-trail northwest up the steep hillside towards a saddle (Wpt. 09.4) on the ridgeline above.

From the saddle (Wpt. 09.4), the route runs west, bending slightly left to stay on the south side of the ridge. A steep use-trail angles up and left across the slope to gain the South Ridge (Wpt. 09.6). The west side of the South Ridge is followed to the summit (Wpt. 09.8).

Views from the summit are grand and include a nice view northeast down Lee Canyon, views east into Las Vegas, Lake Mead, and the Grand Canyon region in Arizona; views west across the Pahrump Valley to Telescope Peak in Death Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California; and views north across the Nevada Test Site.

For hikers continuing to the summit of Mt. Charleston, hikers can descend the Southwest Ridge and return to the North Loop Trail.

Lee Peak
Approaching the ridgeline (view NW)
Lee Peak
Preparing to cross the saddle (view W)
Lee Peak
Steep use-trail angling across the southeast face (view W)
Lee Peak
Hiker ascending the South Ridge (view NW)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view NE into Lee Canyon)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view E along North Loop Ridge)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view E to Mummy Mountain)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view E to regular route on Mummy Mountain)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view SE into Kyle Canyon)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view SE into Las Vegas Valley and Arizona)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view SE into Las Vegas Valley, zoom)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view SE to Lake Mead and Grand Wash Cliffs, AZ)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view SE across Harris Saddle into Red Rocks)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view SE to Griffith Peak)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view S to Mt. Charleston summit; hikers visible)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view SW across Pahrump Valley into CA)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view SW into South Pahrump)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view W into Pahrump and mountains in CA)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view N over McFarland Peak to Nevada Test Site)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view N to McFarland Peak)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view N to McFarland Peak)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view N to Macks Peak and Nevada Test Site)
Lee Peak
Lee Peak Summit (view NE to The Sisters and Nevada Test Site)
more to come ...

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
09.2 Lee Peak, East Ridge 617972 4016337 11,097 0.00 0.00 GPS
09.4 Lee Peak, East Saddle 617922 4016390 11,143 0.06 0.06 GPS
09.6 Lee Peak, South Ridge 617796 4016351 11,239 0.10 0.16 GPS
09.8 Lee Peak 617759 4016415 11,289 0.06 0.22 GPS
10.5 Lee Peak, West Ridge 617614 4016288 11,050 0.13 0.35 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 131010

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