Gass Peak Road - Trip Notes for 04/19/2017

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This page last updated on 04/21/2017

(Fig. 01)
Directions: The Gass Peak Road is located on the Desert National Wildlife Range. From the Stratosphere Casino head northeast on Las Vegas Blvd about 3 miles and turn left onto US-93/95, keeping on the left for 95 North towards Reno. Following US-95 North towards the Mt. Charleston ares, drive 27 miles, past the turn to Mt. Charleston (Kyle Canyon Rd.), and continue on the freeway until you come t the small brown CORN CREEK sign and a row of mailboxes on the right (East side). Turn here and head East. Once you've turned off the freeway, you'll go 4 miles on the paved road. The Corn Creek Field Station will be on your left. Approximate distance is 35 miles and takes about 45 minutes. At the visitor center, continue east for about 250 feet to a T-intersection with a large directional sign. Turn right onto Mormon Well Road, and follow it south and then east for 4.3 miles to Gass Peak Road which turns off to the south (right) (Fig. 02).
(Fig. 02)

Description: The Gass Peak Road, is a bumpy dirt road that runs south from the Mormon Well Road west of the Sheep Range, then turns and runs east up a broad valley between major ridges in the Las Vegas Range. The road usually is a high-clearance road, but when maintained. Gass Peak Road provides access to Gass Peak, Gass Spring, Quail Spring Guzzler and Quartzite Mountain (see Fig. 02). There are two turnoffs that provide areas for camping.

04/19/2017 Trip Notes: Today, Jim Herring, Harvey Smith and I drove Gass Peak Road in search of Gass Spring and the Quail Spring Guzzler. 4.3 miles after leaving the Corn Creek Visitor Center we came to Gass Peak Road on the right. About 8 miles out on this well graded and bumpy dirt road you come to the parking area and trailhead for Gass Spring and Gass Peak trails. Driving up Mormon Road and this road we were presented will Great views of the surrounding mountains and ridges (Fig. 03), hundreds of gorgeous blooming cacti (Fig. 04) and wildflowers (Fig. 05), and thousands of Joshua trees (Fig. 10) at the higher elevations. This silence of this serene wilderness is only broken by the occasional fighter jets flying out of Nellis Air Force Base. Along the way we also had the opportunity to come across several long eared rabbits (Figs. 06 & 07). After nearly a mile hike down Gass Spring Road we were disappointed that there was no water to be found. We did have a nice view of Gass Peak (Fig. 08). The view in (Fig. 09) was on our way back to the trailhead. (note con't below)
(Fig. 03)

(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
Trip Notes Continued:  After looking for Gass Spring, we drove a little further up the Gass Peak Road to Quail Spring Road in search of the Quail Spring Guzzler. About 1.6 miles up this road we came to a parking area and then had to hike about a half mile of the "old" road to the guzzler as seen in (Figs. 11 & 12). Even though I have seen a couple of "guzzlers" on other hikes, this was by far the most to elaborate I have encountered. Fed from the roof, this water collection system had three large tanks (Figs. 11 & 12) for storing water that eventually flows out to two troughs. See (Fig. 13). Our find of the day while hiking back down the old road/wash (Fig. 14), was a baby desert horned lizard (Figs. 15 & 16). This was only the second I spotted in five years of hiking. The picture in (Fig. 16) was taken after Harvey picked him up and held him in the palm of his glove. He was no more than a couple of inches, though they grow to about 5.5 inches when full grown. Read more here ... Desert Horned Lizard.
We also saw a couple of lizards (Fig. 17). Read more here ... Great Basin Fence Lizard. Even though the "in-and-out" trip was a long, bumpy ride, it was a good day.

(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)
(Fig. 15)

(Fig. 16)

(Fig. 17)
(Fig. 18)

(Fig. 19)

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