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Thread: Hidden Forest & Hayford Peak, Nevada

  1. #1

    Hidden Forest & Hayford Peak, Nevada

    After scouting out the area a few weeks earlier, I convinced my wife and another couple of friends to join me on an overnight backpack to the Hidden Forest cabin in late May. Built - possibly - around a century ago, and used by hunters, bootleggers, foresters, rangers, boy scouts and now hikers, the cabin is nestled high in the Sheep Mountains due north of Las Vegas, inside the Desert National Wildlife Reserve.
    I figured that this would be our last chance to do the trip before the spring at the cabin dried up, and the start of the hike - in Mojave/Joshua Tree desert - became too hot. After turning off the US-95 onto the Corn Creek Road just after daybreak, and some twenty rattling miles on dirt roads later, we started off up Deadman Canyon with our dogs in relatively cool temperatures.
    Deadman Canyon is incredibly scenic, with jagged grey limestone pinnacles rising out of juniper and pinyon, gradually giving way to deep green ponderosa forests reminiscent of the nearby Spring Mountains (Mount Charleston). It took us a little over 2.5 hours to backpack the six miles to the cabin, where we set up camp. I elected to press onwards and upwards another couple of miles to Hayford Peak, the highpoint of the Sheep Mountains at 9,924 feet, while the others stayed at the campsite drinking wine. The route to Hayford was generally straightforward, with some sloggy bits of altitude-breathlessness, and I saw only one other hiker the whole time. Fantastic summit views! Upon my return, we kindled a fire, ate dinner and finished off the wine, and feel asleep to birdsong: the spring attracts a large variety of birds, among them the spectacular Western tanager. We were blessed to have the clearing all to ourselves, which meant we could let the dogs roam and play, and have drunk games of soccer and frisbee ourselves.
    In the morning we awoke again to the birds' dawn chorus, and after the obligatory Mountain House meals, granola bars and black instant coffee (coffee never tasted so good, especially in that setting!), we hauled on our packs and ambled back down the trail.
    Highly recommended for anyone looking for a nice fall or spring backpack near Las Vegas! No permits needed, dogs allowed, and the rare feeling at times of being tucked away in the Canadian backwoods. What's not to like?
    Attached Images Attached Images        

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  4. #2
    Sounds like a blast. Nice pics! Thanks

  5. Likes Chivas liked this post
  6. #3
    Awesome TR and good lookin' dog. Is it a Vizsla?

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  8. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandstone Addiction View Post
    Awesome TR and good lookin' dog. Is it a Vizsla?
    Redbone Coonhound, actually! Glad you liked the report!

  9. Likes Sandstone Addiction liked this post

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