LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
MUDDY MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS
Activity: Day Hike, Scrambling, Peak Bagging, 4×4
6 hiking miles, 3074′ elevation, 1700′ elevation gain, rated Moderate
I set out with the goal of completing the Anniversary Narrows and Anniversary Peak Loop an over 8 mile hike in the Lake Meade National Recreation Area. Since I have a Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro I attempted to do a portion of the distance in my rig.
The trail in is 4×4 High Clearance Recommended and I started the loop clockwise in the Lowell Wash. The trail led to a narrow decline just big enough for my rig. There was a sizable drop off on one side. I followed the trail down to a dry wash, but unfortunately the exit had been wiped out at the bottom of the trail by a flood leaving too big of a drop off to safely maneuver.
Now what? I was alone without a spotter. If I had a spotter it might have been possible to jockey around and turn back up the trail, but without one it was more of a risk that I wanted to take. So I slowly backed up in reverse 1000′ or so up the narrow trail being mindful of the drop off.
At this point I thought that I would 4 Wheel counter clockwise back the way that I came and then up the other side of the loop. It was a short distance before I was on foot.
Most of the hike was in a dry wash filled with rough rocks to work around and over. Much of the way there were steep sides to this wash. There really wasn’t a trail. In fact any trail was short lived. It was really working through an area. The GPS was being checked constantly to insure I was in the correct fork of the wash and even once I was beyond it that I was headed in the correct direction.
Once out of the wash the terrain was pretty unworldly and quite wonderful. It appeared like you were in a Star Wars Movie or something. The rock was unusual, pocked with holes, some of the rock formations were a deep red. I believe a portion of this hike was through an area known as the ‘Bowl of Fire’ it really was quite spectacular.
Next on the list was a scramble. A real honest to goodness scramble, so if you like scrambling then you will love this hike. First you climbed up one ravine and then you realize you are maybe half way because the course is still up, up, up! I kept checking the GPS. There certainly was no easy way, but I can attest that there unquestionably were more difficult ways. I think that I found some of the latter getting off course. That course be mindful is just a route that someone else had blazed at some point laying GPS bread crumbs. I would call what I did heavy scrambling, not quite rock climbing, but assuredly an adventure.
At the time I did not realize I was Peak Bagging, but then it made oh so much more sense once I figured that out. What I had read did not emphasize the summit really. The summit was pretty serious. A bit of a breeze across a narrow, exposed, rocky ridgeline, and at least from what I could see from this vantage point pretty much straight down on three sides. The views… Oh my gosh! Stupendous views of the Bowl of Fire, the wonderful different colored mountains, Lake Meade in the distance and the Muddy Mountain Wilderness all just fantastic.
There was an ammo box to sign in, a summit register, and I read an entry saying there is no backside down unless you have a rope and climbing gear and that is the way that I would surmise it as well. So after taking it all in I headed back the way that I came. Which of course was not much easier going down than it was coming up. Although I do believe- I was a little more on track this time.
What I missed out on by not doing the loop was the mine and the slot canyon. So maybe another time, but it was a super hike/scramble none the less. Really beautiful country.
Thanks for joining me in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which by the way was beautiful just to drive through if you get the chance even if you are not heading out for a hike. I found myself ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ in a lovely area, scrambling up to a lonely peak and a rugged summit. Nature has a way of taking your mind off of the work-a-day world and the stress of modern life even if it is just to replace it with, Where in the Hell is the trail?! And there is not way that this is a moderate hike!!! Let me emphasis that part. The only way this could be a Moderate hike is that much of the hike is flat and the rest is quite steep so perhaps that equals it out, but when you get to the hard part… it is HARD! If you go up to the menu you will see that the Las Vegas Area is but one wonderful place that PBTA ventures to love nature. The menu is categorized mostly by areas of this great West of ours. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. I invite you to stay with me by following a few easy tasks: LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE. If you like my hat in the picture pick one up along along with one of my top quality shirts with the PBTA logo and mantra at SHOP APPAREL. Other than that get off the couch and “Take a Hike”!
Pursing Balance Through Adventure