Place Name: Clark County
Place Description: State: Nevada
Elevation: 7,133 Feet
Prominence: 773 Feet
Elevation Gain: 1,658 Feet
Lists: Great Basin Peak List
A Pleasant Surprise
The Desert Wildlife Refuge outside of Las Vegas does see some traffic, however, some of these summits are seldom climbed and offer unbelievable solitude! Quartzite Mountain won’t be found in any park brochures and that’s a great thing! The terrain is fun to hike and you will not see another person the entire day!
- Good access road
- Great views
- Lots of peace and quiet
- Long dirt road approach
- Lots of cactus
- Long way from anywhere
Don’t judge a book by its cover. The same saying applies to mountains too. Quartzite Mountain in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge is definitely one of those.
This little-known peak sits deep in the refuge and sees less than 10 ascents per year, don’t let that be a deterrent.
Quartzite Mountain lies north of Las Vegas along US-95. Follow the signs to the refuge, this will be a right hand turn on Corn Creek Rd.
Once you pass the visitor center the road turns to dirt and a large sign shows all of the points of interest.
Hang a right and follow Mormon Well Rd. all the way to Peek-A-Boo Canyon. The road is wash-board and bouncy. Most of it can be driven 20-25 mph, however, there are some sections you will need to slow.
If you are coming all the way out here, it’s likely you have a gps track downloaded. Wherever your track starts, start there.
Once you park, look for a small sign in the wash prohibiting OHV traffic. This is the start of the trail.
The wash is gravely for the most part giving a good ankle workout. Further in, pinyon pines and brush start to encroach.
Next you will want to exit the wash to the left and head for the now visible peak across an old burn scar.
The terrain is easy going and starts to climb. I angled for a rock outcropping which I passed on the left side using a stable talus field.
Once on the ridge, some very light class 2+ rock formation is easily climbed over.
After the short obstacle, the summit block comes into view.
A short, easy, and non-exposed scramble will get the hiker to the top and excellent views abound!
The Final Word
As mentioned above, this turned out to be a super nice hike on fairly gentle terrain. I enjoyed the area. Only six people climbed this peak in 2021, showing just how much solitude can be found here.
If you are in Vegas and chasing the Great Basin Peak List, this is a good one to take on. Combining this hike with nearby Gass Peak is also an intriguing option.