Rainbow Wall, Gunsight Notch Peak, Juniper Peak In Red Rocks

  • Updated: March 30, 2013
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst


   Rainbow Wall (6,924')
   Gunsight Notch Peak (6,160')
   Juniper Peak (6,109')
When: March 30th, 2013
Where: Red Rocks Nevada
Who: Matthew Hengst, Jeff Atijera, Harlan Stockman
Pictures: [Matt's Flickr]
GPS Track: Track

This weekend had a lot to live up to as the previous Easter was spent climbing Weavers Needle out near Phoenix which ended in an encounter with armed US Marshall's.  Interesting way to start an Easter morning but hard to follow.

After initial talk of banging out two more DPS peaks we settled on heading for Red Rocks and climbing something off list with Harlan Stockman a Facebook acquaintance and extremely active hiker I hadn't had the chance to meet in person yet.

As usual I had to get back from Boise.  Unfortunately some large segment of the college aged population of the planet was on spring break so the flights back were a zoo and despite leaving at 8 pm there was a steady stream of Vegas traffic and police along I15.

We pulled in to Vegas around 1 am and after finding the Red Rocks campground packed with people sleeping in cars in the overflow lot we set off back to the 160 and camped at the end of a dirt road used to climb Potosi.  (There's some decent spots near Potosi Spring but you have to drive all the way past the BSA camp and other signed private land)

We were set to meet Harlan Stockman at 7 am and our late night arrival combined with some rather loudly amorous donkeys left Jeff and I with only a few short hours of sleep.  Nevertheless we bounced out of our sleeping bags with as much energy as we could muster and drove over to the entrance of the Red Rocks scenic loop where we met Harlan.

After exchanging hellos we were off to the Oak Creek Canyon parking area (though we actually climbed up the canyon located between Oak Creek and Pine Creek.

Harlan's been all over Red Rocks and spent a good amount of the time pointing out various landmarks and other routes.

After a quick hike across the floor we turned up into the canyon following a web of use trails most of which has been ducked with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

The trail up the canyon started with some easy boulder scrambles and eventually mixed in some interesting 3rd class bits the closer we came to the notch.

At about 6,000' we topped out at a small notch where we dropped some extra water and the small rope we'd brought along and headed south to Rainbow Wall.

Again there was ducks here and there but Harlan was able to point out the various options and avoid some of the sketchier looking bits.

We did get a few interesting spots here and there but the rock was solid and fun to climb.  As always in Red Rocks and amount of detail visible at any given time can be staggering if you stop and look.

Jeff and I were both lagging a bit either due to lack of hiking or lack of sleep but soon we scrambled up to the summit of Rainbow Wall.

Retracing our steps went quickly though its frustrating to look at from the map since your swinging to the south instead of taking a short hop directly down the ridge.

We grabbed our dropped gear and headed the opposite way along the ridge quickly reaching Gunsight Notch Peak.  From here we continued north along the ridge towards Juniper.

There were a few slightly exposed rock moves here and there but nothing difficult.  We eventually reached the rap point Harlan had warned us about.

Harlan went about the rap with his own particular style including one heck of a pendulum that managed to wake me up.  Jeff and I followed a bit more cautiously.

Jeff about to go over the edge

View of the rap from bellow

Across the way we could just make out a number of climbing teams on one of the many routes down there.

From Juniper the descent was very well ducked as that is apparently the walk of route for a number of rock climbing routes.  Again we saw several climbing teams up above us.

Pretty much anywhere you looked there were climbers and you could hear voices echoing down from the distance.  One of the groups we chatted with on the way down had actually given up on climbing everything after finding too many people on each route they tried.

From here it was mostly a stroll though Jeff and I were both lagging badly.  Still we made the vehicle with plenty of daylight left. We talked about our options and decided it was best to head back over to Potosi to camp for the night.

Sadly once again the donkeys proved to be loud and agitated...

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