Although this area is signifcantly smaller than the adjacent Mt. Charleston Wilderness and La Madre Mountain Wilderness, the terrain consists of beautiful vertical red and buff sandstone cliffs, capped by limestone in some areas, that are deeply incised by narrow, twisting canyons carpeted with vegetation. The area contains one perennial stream. Elevations range from 4,400 feet to some of the high points including Mount Wilson at 7,070 feet and Rainbow Mountain at 6,924 feet in elevation. This wilderness is located approximately 12 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada, and is jointly managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. GEOLOGY Here you will find Jurassic sandstone cliffs with great examples of cross-bedding, which reveals their origin as sand dunes. You can also find older limestone that has been thrust over the younger sandstone. The geologic scenery of the wilderness is associated with the Keystone Thrust which extends for more than 45 miles through the Spring Mountains. FLORA AND FAUNA The range in elevation in this area provides for a variety of life zones. Here you can find ponderosa pine, pinyon pine, juniper, ash, manzanita, silk tassel, bitterbush, apache plume, scrub oak, willow, and hackberry. This range in habitat and the area's unique geology and microclimates support several endemic plant communities, plants that are found no where else in the world. With a keen eye you can spot desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, gray foxes, ringtails, rock squirrels, white-tailed antelope squirrels, and Merriam's kangaroo rats. You may also spot golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, Cooper's hawks, great horned owls, Anna's hummingbirds, yellow warblers, western tanagers, and black-throated gray warblers. CULTURAL SITES High concentrations of rock art, including both petroglyphs and pictographs, add to the uniqueness of this wilderness area.

I love the beautiful scenery and easy pace of this hike. So many trees and nobody else was there.

Awesome trail! A no-nonsense, mostly-uphill approach leads to incredible views and some sandstone scrambling to the summit. While it might be tempting to stop short of the slabs, they are easier than they look and well worth the views at the top.

Note that despite the name, this is not Rainbow Mountain, which is well north (other side of Mt. Wilson). I checked several sources and couldn't find a name for this feature. It seems unnamed.

Also, I'm not sure where Tori went, but we followed GPS for this and it was right on. With our summit wandering, our track came in at 5.5 miles. I'd estimate anywhere from 2 to 5 hours depending on your level of fitness.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

This is an amazing secret hike. the previous recordings are all wrong and don't complete the trail which is over 8 miles out and back. the trail follows a ridge that leads to a small natural arch and amazing views of the las vegas valley and red rock canyon. great trail if you hate seeing other hikers

horseback riding
5 months ago

Nice trail for horses. Wonderful views of trout canyon from above. We were the only ones on the trail but hikers with dogs unleashed were just coming off as we approached the trail head. Always use cation and be aware of others when rounding corners.

A lot of uphill leads to amazing views and an overall awesome hike

Kinda like the back of mt Rushmore

Was a little worried at first this hike was going to be boring but the views improved near the end. Be ready for no shade. Good point at the end to sit and enjoy the view of the Vegas Valley.