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Trails for mountain peaks around the Nellis range

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posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 11:42 AM

I noticed a few wikiloc locations around the Nellis range on Google Earth. Some are "UFO" sighting locations, but other are trails to climb peaks. The person in the link at the top of the message has climbed Worthington, Quinn Mountain, and Mt. Irish. Note that one person's opinion of easy may not be your reality. Also these peaks are not well hiked, so you are on your own. The usual rules apply here like tell someone in advance of your plans, carry an EPIRB or similar alert device, bring extra food and water, etc.

For Tikaboo, I've occasionally met people coming down the trail while I was going up. I think the vast majority of Tikaboo hikes are just day trips with binocs, not camp outs to photograph the base.

posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 02:25 PM
On that note, for those of us older/out-of-shape people, I found this link a while ago, with ATV/SUV trails for Google Earth:
Nevada Offroad SUV and ATV Trails

Of particular interest to me was "Mines in Nevada" and "Nevada Trails" maps.
Some of the strange looking spots in GE in/around the range, turns out was a mine.

One note, once opened in GE, turn off the "Get a TOPO Map" box, I found it very annoying and distracting. Unless you want a link to the topo map for the area you are interested in. Turn it back on, click the Info icon to open a link, then turn it off again.
edit on 5-9-2012 by FosterVS because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 5 2012 @ 07:46 PM
reply to post by FosterVS

The mine map looks very useful. You can do a quick WTF regarding roads, but it isn't as if the USAF doesn't use existing mine roads if they need access.

There are also KMZs here:

Tikaboo is two miles. The first mile is reasonable.If you don't value your car, you can drive it. Certainly ATV. The last mile gets difficult rapidly if you are carrying a lot of gear. Not so bad if you are doing a day trip.

This person did a decent documentation of the trail.

If you are camping overnight, you have all day to hike TIkaboo. It is best to start right at daybreak since it is cooler.

posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 12:47 AM
reply to post by gariac

Thanks for the info on the Tikaboo Peak hike. We're hoping to hike that one here some day soon and the web page you linked was very helpful.

Do you recommend any other good desert peaks to hike in the area? Looked there might have been a couple just east of the Black Mail Box, Groom Lake Road area?

We'd be coming from California, so it would be nice to try a couple while we're there.


posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 03:01 AM
reply to post by EthanT

The inplanesight page has the trail to Brainwash Butte. It isn't much of a hike, but you can watch the TTR. i should have most of Bonanza Peak mapped out on GPS. I didn't make it to the top because I lost the trail, but I think I can finish it by looking at Google Earth.There is a wikiloc for Bonanza Peak, but it looks buggy. Go here on Google Earth
36.382175° -115.740764°
The first bug is that there is a straight line leading from around this location to the northeast. Ignore that. The trail does start in that parking lot. There are two trail heads in the lot. On my first attempt, I took the wrong trail. The wrong trail is labeled Willow Peak in the wikiloc. Neither trail head is marked all that well when you are on scene. The Willow Peak trail kind of looks like a short cut, i.e. it meets the Bonanza Peak trail. I wouldn't bet on that. The trail head for Bonanza Peak is shown correctly. The up and down trail don't match all that well. This is because there are so many switchbacks in the trail that you are literally paralleling yourself at parts spread by maybe 30ft. You can see people made illegal shortcuts at places. To prevent erosion, it is always best to follow the main trail. It isn't the kind of trail where you can get lost too easily. At some of the switchbacks, there are logs plopped on the ground so that you don't fail to make the turn. There was a downed tree blocking the trail that I had to climb over.

There is decent cell phone coverage along route 95, so you can't get into too much trouble doing the Bonanza Peak hike. It is a long hike so use the phone sparingly if you have one of those phones with "captive" batteries. Most iphones have that 'feature." It doesn't hurt to have a spare battery if you have anything other than an iphone. You should have a real GPS whenever you hike. One that takes AA cells, and carry a few spare batteries. Bonanza Peak looks like about 3000ft elevation change. Depending on time of year, that would be at least 4 liters of water/sports drink for me. Your mileage may vary.

Tikaboo is another story. The phone coverage is terrible. the trail markings can be good or not. It depends if the trail was marked recently. You should still have a GPS (and don't forget to "mark" the car), but a GPS doesn't help all that much on TIkaboo. You really need to watch the trail. It is well worn. There is a variety of markings. Some flagging tape in trees. Some painted rocks. The bird and hike website has lots of trails on it.

You can't do Bonaza Peak too early in the year unless you like to hike in snow I ran into snow in May. June should be OK, though it will be hot. May is fine for Tikaboo. Some people hike it in April, but there can be snow. You can do TIkaboo through October. I did it during a dry November and lets just say I hope you have gloves and a balaclava. Even October will be cold at night. I have a ratty down jacket I use just for Tikaboo. It looks like I slept in it, uh, because I've slept in it.

There are two ways to do TIkaboo. You can go up and down in one day. Most people can't see much of the base that way because after 9AM the thermal distortion is significant, and it is tough to make it to the top in two hours unless you have a very light load. If they fly something, that you can see with binoc pretty well since thermal distortion is most significant on the ground. If you want to photograph the base, or just see it clearly, you really need to camp out. You can do that on the peak itself or at the last false summit.The last false summit to the peak is an easy 15 minute hike, so I always suggest people camp at the last false summit. There is less wind there, plus there is much more room to set up a tent.

posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 08:55 PM
Thanks for all the great info Gariac!

It's funny because it turns out the nice looking peak I was thinking of somewhat near the Groom Lake Road IS Tikaboo Peak. At least as far as I can tell from Google Earth.

Yeah, I think we may do Tikaboo and spend the night somewhere along the way. I didn't realize how far away the Area 51 buildings are. May need to buy a pair of binoculars too. It will be more fun to do it as backpack, anyhow.

We come by TTR on the way there, so we might as well try a hike or two there that you mentioned, as well.

Thanks again!


posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 01:03 AM
reply to post by EthanT

At the very least, get binocs that can accept a 1/4-20 bolt, then bring a monopod. The monopod is a decent walking stick. You need a walking stick when hiking anyway since you can lean on it and take some of the slip out from your boots.. In that part of Nevada, a walking stick is plenty to dissuade some pesky animal should it come to that. The biggest animal I ever saw near last false summit was a prong horn. It ran at warp speed when it saw me. You see birds up there, once in a while a rabbit/hare. There are field mice at the peak since people leave trash up there. I had one mouse go in my pocket trying to get at a Clif bar. [Jacket on the rocks, not being worn.]

If you are compelled to haul out some trash, the only thing I found that survives the trip down is to put the trash in those bags that rice comes in. If you don't buy rice that way, probably a Chinese restaurant will give you one. Plastic bags get all ripped on the trip down the mountain.

I found my track up Bonanza Peak, but if you aren't going there, I'm going to hold off posting it. I checked the "bird and hike" website and think I know how to get to the top. Also now I'm sure more than ever that the Willow Peak trail on the wikiloc is bogus. According to the "bird and hike" website, that trail leads to an old Boys Scout camp ground, which mirrors what I found. Basically you hike that trail and it quits at a camp ground.

I also noticed on Bonanza Peak, the previous GE imagery showed the trail better than the current imagery.

Probably stating the obvious, but you need hiking boots for TIkaboo. Some parts are very steep. I guided someone up once who was wearing those Teva sandals. He wasn't particularly pleased by the end of the hike, and going down in the loose shale was a mess.

Most people "butt surf" at the steep part of the shale going down the mountain. Technically you surf on your hip to avoid damage to more sensitive areas. You may be able to parallel the main trail to avoid the loose shale. Just don't lose the trail doing this.

posted on Sep, 22 2012 @ 06:37 PM
We'll be good to go with the hiking. We do quite a bit of mt climbing in the Sierra and lots of remote desert hiking throughout California deserts, with Death Valley being our favorite area.

But, I think we are totally unprepared for viewing Area 51. I'm going to follow your advice and wait until we at least have those binoculars you mention.

I have a 4" Newtonian scope for Astronomy, but not sure I want to lug that up the peak, lol. Not too mention everything is "upside down" when you look through it.

Looks like we're going to have to wait until late spring next year, unless the winter is another weird one and snow stays away like last year.

posted on Sep, 22 2012 @ 09:44 PM
reply to post by EthanT

Tikaboo should be fine through October. You do need to watch weather reports for rain, but that is technically true all year. Nevada weather can be Pacific or Mexico dominated.

Like I said, I did Tikaboo after the Nellis air show in November. To some degree it is safer to do the hike in cold weather. You certainly won't get heat stroke! It takes less water. In cold weather, I do the hike and camp out on 6 liters. In the summer, I need 9 liters. Viewing is potentially better in cold weather. I find you still get thermal distortion when it is cooler.

You need gloves, a balaclava, and a down jacket. Thermal underwear if your legs are prone to getting cold.

You can see the temperature peaks at 72 deg F today and the min was over 60 deg F. Not too shabby.

Last year it rained on Oct 3-5. But most of the month was decent. Some days the lows were in the 30s, and some in the 50s.

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