Monday, August 23, 2010

Fletcher Peak - New and Improved

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Okay, I'll admit it's not new, but the route to Fletcher Peak has been improved. Fletcher Peak, located in Mt. Charleston, NV, is just 35 miles NW of Las Vegas. It offers some of the best views of any peak in Mt. Charleston. The new route through Hummingbird Hollow Canyon avoids most of the loose scree and there's an easy-to-follow path once at the saddle. It's a moderate hike that actually passes a year round spring, something not too common on most of the hikes in Mt. Charleston.

On Sunday, August 22nd, 18 hikers made their way to the summit of Fletcher Peak. We had a nice day compared to the last time we tried this hike. That was Memorial Day Weekend 2009. It rained, hailed, snowed, lightening, and the wind was howling. It was by far the worst weather I had ever encountered on a hike. It reinforces the point to always bring extra clothing, a rain jacket and gloves if hiking in higher elevations.

Although not the easiest route to follow, the paths are much easier to find and follow now. Numerous cairns have been placed in the drainage to help hikers stay on the route. At the saddle there are some great photos opps of weathered bristlecone pines. The hike from the saddle to the summit is about as good as it gets. Don't pass on this hike just because Fletcher Peak in not a major summit.

Stats:

Trailhead: State Route 158 across from the 3-mile marker – not marked
Distance: 6.2 miles – up and back
Elevation gain: 2,600 feet
Elevation of Peak: 10,319 feet
Time: 4 to 6 hours — up and back
Difficulty: 3
Danger level: 2
Class: 2
www.hikinglasvegas.com provides the best, most accurate, and most updated step by step hiking descriptions of hikes around southern Nevada. For more info click here.

Note: Someone moved the ammo box containing the sign-in book to the sister peak, which does not have the views of the real peak. If you do this hike, please bring the ammo box back to the real peak.