Tag Archives: hiking

Fossil Ridge

Location: Near Red Rock, outside of Las Vegas, Nevada

Time: Early Winter

Activity: Day Hike

Fossil Ridge day hike was a solo adventure that I did in Nevada the day after Christmas 2018. It was under 5 miles with a climb in elevation of under 1,000 feet. The hike was rated moderate. It was a gorgeous day, and a good way to try and work off some of the treats from the holiday. The location is near Red Rock, which to me is almost spiritual it is so beautiful, and a must do anytime I am near Vegas. Usually I am hiking on the opposite side of the road that runs through the area, and closer to the mountains and to Red Rock, but this perspective was very special as you have the full expanse of that view. The Fossil Ridge Loop day hike worked its way along the cliff of a canyon which was very interesting. The other thing I really liked about the hike was at times I felt like I was hiking through a cactus garden.

Here the trail is along a cliff with the canyon below. This picture doesn’t really show the steepness, because it doesn’t capture the depth perception. When I stood on the side of the cliff peering over the side the updraft below my hat off and back about 15 feet.
It was like hiking in a cactus garden.
In the distance you can see Red Rock.

It was in this area that I spied a pretty good sized jack rabbit.

A very enjoyable little hike.

Bootleg Canyon Loop

Boulder City

Activity: Day Hike

4 miles, 900’ elevation gain, 2 hour duration, rated Moderate

Date: 11-24-21

This area is a play land for Mountain Biking. It has terrain for all skill levels from Beginner to Expert. If you follow this trek outline on the map there are certainly portions that would be approaching that Expert level. That being said, it is also a hiking area, just be aware, of your surroundings and keep your eyes peeled, and your ears alert.

This short loop should be hiked counter clockwise as it is steeper with loose material. Going up is always easier especially on this type of footing than sliding down. The route encompasses multiple trails starting with BC, Snake Back, and Side Winder, on the backside it drops down on to Red Mountain Access Road. That is very boring, so my suggestion is get off on to a side trail at East Leg which is another rugged winding narrow trail that brings you back to the basin of trails at the trailhead.

The area and the terrain is very cool, the problem I have with it is there is a big communication network tower on the top with overhead power lines. The views of the surrounding desert and mountains is super, the only problem with the views is it also encompasses the urbanization down below being Boulder City. What I am always trying to do when ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ is get away from it all. The more wilderness the better. Off the backside is a great view of the strip. While that is still urbanization it is the Las Vegas Strip so, that is different.

The backside of the mountain had a nice view of the Las Vegas Strip off in the distance.

If you think a small thing can’t make a big difference, try hiking with a pebble in your boot.

High Winds buffeted the peak so that I needed to watch my footing on the narrow rugged trail.

Thanks for joining me ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ above Boulder City checking out views of the famed Las Vegas Strip from the top. For more adventures in nature please do the following: LIKE, FOLLOW, COMMENT and SHARE. If you go to the above menu you will see plenty of wonderful spots that PBTA travels to throughout the West. If you go to SHOP APPAREL you will see Adventure Wear adorned with PBTA logo that also serves as the mantra for the healing you can receive from nature adventure.

If It DOESN’T Hurt It ISN’T Worth It



Activity: Peak Bagging, Trail Blazing, Scrambling

Distance 3.6 miles, altitude 4,052 Feet, Prominence 1,972 Feet, 2,139 Feet elevation gain, 7.5 hour duration, rated Difficult

Date: November 15, 2019

The finale of our “If It Doesn’t Hurt It Isn’t Worth It – 3 Peaks in 3 Days Las Vegas Tour was called Frenchman.  It was the shortest in both length and elevation, but it was probably the toughest. (The other two Peaks were: Arrow Canyon Range High Point and Griffith Peak.)

Frenchman Mountain is the highest peak that you see in the area of the Las Vegas Basin.  The nice, cute, young lady that is the Entertainment Director at my Mom’s Senior Luxury Apartments, who likes to hike, (We hiked together once, but she ran all the way down, turns out she is a trail runner, and I was worried because I didn’t know that she was going to do that, and I was afraid that she might have taken a wrong trail… so I hiked with her only once, lol), said she heard of Frenchman and that it was ”straight up”.  Frenchman Mountain Trail is famous in the Vegas area for being Bad Ass, and indeed it was crazy steep because I could see the road from the summit, but we did not take the road.   Oh no… we went straight up the side of the mountain. We were scrambling on Class 2 rock, also known as bouldering, most of the way. (The classification for hiking a steep incline where you might need to use your hands). That turned into some actually rock climbing, you know like three points of contact with the rock as you looked for your next hand hold.  This is known as Class 3 climbing, (Climbing a steep incline with modest exposure where you are using your hands, but not necessarily needing a rope, a short fall is possible.) We were never far off the ground, but you certainly would not want to fall just the same.  My Peak Bagging Buddy, Mountaineer Keith Christensen was pushing my comfort zone.  

I wrecked my knee playing racketball, and it has bothered me for the past 18 months. I Injured it playing against the 4 time and current Senior Nevada Olympic Champion, whom recently got the Silver Medal in the Senior Olympics. The Champ was an Air Force Fighter Pilot Squadron Leader and also flew the U2. In other words he is a National Treasure, and he may no longer be young and nimble, but regardless he is a very special man and to compete I had to throw everything I had at him including the kitchen sink. My only chance was being younger, more agile and faster than he. Throwing said sink at him cost me my knee.

I was feeling that knee problem at the summit of Frenchman Mountain, plus I was worried that climbing down would be worse than going up.  So I was contemplating telling my Peak Bagging Buddy, you can climb down the rock face and boulders I am taking the road and you can drive a few miles to that trailhead.  But instead I thought to myself what the heck.  I am here to do this with my friend so screw it, let’s do this thing!  

Oh, did I mention on the summit was a tower that was in a razor wire fenced in area that just so happen had the last 10’ that we, as Peak Baggers, needed?  And in gaining those last 10 feet we not only had to trespass, but hang our ass out over a drop that was hundreds of feet as we eased around the fence?  

As one might expect the views were tremendous of Las Vegas, the Strip, and in the other direction lonely desert all the way out to Lake Mead and Arizona.

While we climbed down the mountain it turns out that the Thunderbirds, taking off from nearby Nellis Air Force Base, were preparing for tomorrows Air Show over Vegas so that was an added treat watching them tear a hole in the sky from above them.

As it turned out the climb was not as bad going down as I thought because from above you could see the hand holds better.  So all in all it was a cool experience, and I became a Peak Bagger.  

Here is a shot of Frenchman Mt Trail. Famous for being a Bad Ass hike, but did we take the trail? Oh no… we went straight up the side of the frick’n mountain.
This is the highest spot on Frenchman’s Mountain. But I can only show my boots, because I wouldn’t want to incriminate myself with visual proof of exactly where that might be behind the razor wire.
Pizza delivery on the top of a mountain?! Lol, that is Keith’s left over dinner. We needed all the carbs we could get after the scramble up the mountainside.
“If you obey all the rules, you missed all the fun.” – Katherine Hepburn

3 Peaks in 3 Days, the If It Doesn’t Hurt It’s Not Worth It Las Vegas Tour. Thanks for joining me and Mountaineer Keith Christensen as for a few days of Peak Bagging we found a piece of that balance between the mundane existence of every day life and the Wild Abandonment of Adventure on the Top of a Mountain. It’s called Pursuing Balance Through Adventure Las Vegas Hiking. There is always more to come so stay tuned: COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW AND SHARE. Help support PBTA, buy a hat or a shirt. They are the best and they will add to your adventure see SHOP APPAREL . Checkout the menu because PBTA is always on the move, plenty of places in the West to experience. They are all separate sites and each needs to be followed Independently.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Peak Bagging Arrow Canyon

Near Las Vegas, lonely inhospitable mountain peak out in the middle of the frick’n desert…

Activity: Peak Bagging, Trail Blazing,

Date: November 13, 2019

Distance: 6.5 miles, altitude: 5,226 feet, Prominence: 2,426 feet, 7 hour duration, rated Difficult

“If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not worth it.” – Keith Christensen, Mountaineer. Arrow Canyon Range High Point is for Peak Baggers, its hard, its suppose to be, thats the point.

In Las Vegas I met up with a friend Keith Christensen. He is a multi-titlest North American Hobie 16 Champion and Alter Cup Champion.  Most of my life I have been racing sailboats mostly small fast catamarans, Hobie Cats, but also Nacras, A-Cats, and Prindles. I have also done some big boat racing. I have numerous sailing championships two of which are National Titles, and I love sailing!  Keith and I have known each other via sailing for a long time.

Keith and I teamed up for my last Sailing World Championship, now its been like 7 years ago.  He came in as an alternate at the last minute when another friend had to drop out just prior to the event start, due to an previously unknown heart ailment.  Keith had not been sailing in years, as his passion had turned to Peak Bagging, and despite just jumping on the boat we still made the event finals.  He races dirt bikes, and 10 Speeds, still… Keith is a little younger than I am, and is quite passionate about the things that he does even though he has a very California kick back attitude. Among these many facets, Keith Christensen is also a mountaineer, and is a self proclaimed Peak Bagger.

What is a Peak Bagger you might ask? Well, I suppose that is a climber an outdoorsman who is out for a challenge, exercise, to be active, maybe to be in the Wilderness, to take in nature and the scenery, the sport of it all, could be to test his or her metal. I would ponder that it is all or at least a combination of many of those things and more, but according to Peakbagger.com, “He climbs a peak to get to the summit, because it is there, because it needs to be climbed.“ The “Because it is there” expression was coined from a quote by the famous Mount Everest Explorer George Mallory while speaking to a New York Times reporter in 1923.

I was soon to discover just what a Peak Bagger Keith Christensen is.  I knew he climbed peaks and when he sent me his resume ahead of time, I fully expected to see like 15 peaks or something, which would have been impressive, but no… Hundreds!  So, I was quite apprehensive about trying to bag peaks with him.  I am an adventurer, but going more for the nature aspect of it and the scenery, although I will say the harder it is, the more I respect it, and the more that it means.  I am intrigued by peaks, but it is not my main thing.  

So, Keith drove from Long Beach, California to hike with me in Vegas.  We did three peaks in three days.  Peaks he needed to add to his collection.  The first, Arrow Canyon Range High Point, was a lonely peak out in the desert about an hour or so from Las Vegas.  The last portion of our drive was on dirt roads for 30 minutes to finally arrive at the spot.  

This was not a fun hike, nor a scenic hike, well except for from the top there was a nice views in every direction of desert and far away mountains.  This was a hike that was trail blazing, meaning no trail.  Loose rock… three steps forward one step sliding back.  The going was tough, the rock was sharp, the brush had thorns, everything wanted to reach out and bite you.

I was fine going up. I stayed up with him, made the summit and there was a register.  Usually when I see registers they are multiple booklets and mostly full with no place left to sign, dozens and dozens of entries from just that month.  Well, this place had 2/year, and they were all people Keith knew, Peak Baggers.  You don’t come to this place unless you are a Peak Bagger. It is pretty much a “Because it is there” type of accomplishment. The way down I found more difficult.  Even the large rocks that you stepped on adjusted with each step.  Keith was much quicker than I, as I concentrated painstakingly on each and every step.

Up we go… not the most difficult section, but representative of our hike.
From the Top
Lonely Peak somewhere out in the desert.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Keith and I want to thank you for joining us while we were Pursuing Balance Through Adventure – Las Vegas Area Hiking and Peak Bagging a lonely, desolate, desert peak in the middle of no where. Not for the faint of heart, and it wasn’t supposed to be, after all it’s an adventure and the best way to gain that balance in life so sought after. This is day one of a three day Peak Bagging Adventure with Mountaineer Keith Christensen don’t miss the next step, because one missed step could send you down a steep ravine in this business. Please COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. Also checkout SHOP APPAREL for adventure hats, shirts, beanies and more. The menu above will send you to more PBTA locations for your adventure pleasure. Each one is independent and thus needs to be Followed independently.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Ash Canyon to Calico Tanks trail Loop

Ash Canyon to Calico Tanks Trail Loop
Red Rock Canyon National Conservancy
Las Vegas Area

Activity: Rock Scrambling
Date: April 26, 2019
Distance: 5 Miles, 1,325 elevation change, duration 4 hours, rated moderate. (Unless you run into trouble then you can double or triple that)

Red Rock Canyon is one of my favorite places. It is so stunningly beautiful that to me it is almost spiritual. But, it is not to be taken lightly. It is a place that can be most inhospitable with extreme heat, and dangerous drops.

While I cannot see visiting Vegas without hiking Red Rock, I would not recommend this particular loop trail. Also, I am not sure I would call this hike moderate.

It is more of a scramble than a hike, which is part of the fun, but people need to know that upfront. Also during the scramble up Ash Canyon most of it is just moving through the area with little or no defined path. Once you get past the canyon it seems to be almost cross country again. Because of this I was using my GPS Hiking Map App heavily and it was chewing through my IPhone battery like crazy.

Once connected with the trail heading towards Calico Tanks, that trail was maintained and well traveled. The tanks were very cool.

Making my way past that spot was the issue. Once again no recognize trail, scrambling, and the GPS on my map app was sketchy as was the area. I could not find a safe way down and my cell phone battery was now dying. It left me in a bad situation, and I had to double back and since that was sketchy with no GPS, I had to abandon the route and just head for the Red Rock Scenic Loop which tripled the mileage making it an almost 11 hour trip.

What I would recommend is scrambling up Ash Canyon, going cross country to the Calico Tanks Trail, and from there coming back the same way, which of course is a much longer trip probably about 8 miles.

Be sure to click the link below taking you to the ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure Face Book Page where you will see some really outstanding pics of this adventure, if I do say so myself. Really a stunning area.

Ash Canyon to Calico Tanks Trail Loop ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ Face Book Page Post
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -J.R.R Tolkien

Thanks for taking this look back at one of my favorite places even if it did not end up exactly as I planned, which made it more of an adventure than I was planning, Red Rock is magnificent. If you liked this post then please COMMENT, FOLLOW, LIKE, and SHARE. Checkout the menu above for ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ is in many different locales, (all which need to be FOLLOWED individually), and you might find some other grand adventures. If you would like to support PBTA then why not checkout the SHOP APPAREL for top quality gear.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Fossil Ridge



Fossil Ridge was a wonderful hike that I took over a year ago, but I wanted such a great hike to be listed here and the information to be accessible on ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ Las Vegas Area Hiking.

Please enjoy FOSSIL RIDGE

Life is better in hiking boots.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’

Echo Trail

Spring Mountains Recreation Area Mount Charleston Wilderness (Near Las Vegas)

Activity: Day Hike

Date: May 13, 2019

Distance: 3 Miles, 500′ elevation change, 2 hour duration, rated Easy.

I cannot really recommend this trail, as in my opinion it needs a trail crew and the Park Service to work on it. It is a nice area and it is fun to be out in nature here, but apparently the trail has changed. At least this map is not correct. If you follow attached map it starts out a nice, big, easy trail, then it appears that it used to go straight, but now has a log across it. So I followed the trail fork to the right, as it shows on the map, which looks like it dead ends. From there the map shows going on up a small trail that is overgrown and is at times nonexistent. It becomes a very steep mountainside, certainly not easy, that should have switchbacks, again making me think this is not really a hiking trail just that someone had gone this way before.

After I started heading down, I saw on the map I was following, someone started on a trail and then turn around. I followed it beyond that point. It led to a sign that mentioned Echo Trail and it seemed to be different altogether, but still a little strange. So as I said, something is off here and needs some work.

I followed part of the Little Falls Trail and that led uphill to a snowy slope and stream. You have to be careful as the slippery, snowy slope is slanted steeply towards the icy stream, and if that wasn’t enough, the ground must be warmer than the snow above, because there were places that you could break through the snow and there is a gap between the snow and the ground.

As I was painstakingly testing the snow, and making a stable foothold, I spied an Asian man and his 10 year old son. They were on the other side of the stream. The man grabbed his son, threw him over his shoulder and started walking through the ice water. He scampered up the bank and requested, in his best English, for me to please assist him. He relayed his son to me over a treacherous spot so that the son would not slide into the stream, nor fall in the snow hole. Afterwards, they both thanked me profusely.

I tried to inquire if the one foot water drops we were looking at was the waterfall or if there was something spectacular around the corner. Because of the language barrier I was unable to ascertain that information, and I wasn’t sure if he knew anyway. Later I discovered, from a person familiar with the area, if I had only walked in the icy stream for a couple hundred yards or so around a bend or two I would have found a nice proper waterfall.

The area is beautiful. But I can’t recommend the trail.

This says 1.4 one way, but after trying different things in this area and also going on the Little Falls Trail, I probably hike 4-5 miles.

Trail Head doesn’t give any info on the trail. That should have been my first sign right there.

But then again, it was a cool woodsy area.

It was great day the temperatures were mild.

Just love wilderness.

Spring Mountains Recreation Area/Mount Charleston Wilderness has dramatic scenery.

Special Place

According to the map from my hiking App I had been on Echo Trail, after taking a side trail and finding this sign I am not so sure. This area need to be reworked.

Rocky crags rise out from green forest.

Whats that saying about a slippery slope?

In one way you needed to stomp a secure foothold, so not to slide down the slope into the icy stream, but then again you could break through into a snow hole.

Beautiful area but the trail and signage needs work.

This has been another exciting addition of ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. “Like”, “Comment” and “Share”, and get out there and find some balance of your own, be adventurous!