Category: Off The Beaten Path

Fletcher Canyon Trail, Mt Charleston, Nevada

June 5, 2015

Hiking in Mt. Charleston, Fletcher Canyon.

Fletcher Canyon Trailhead in the Spring Mountains National Recreational Area

This is a great hike, 1.8-2 miles one way, this is a relative easy hike. The starting elevation is at 6,822 ft and goes up to 7,610 ft to the narrow canyon.  This hike is frequented by lots of hikers with their dogs. On one visit we saw over 20 different dogs with their owners. (If you bring your dog, make sure you pick up after your pets, thank you!) On the trail, you may cross a stream of cold mountain water (seasonal). Follow the foot path climbing up as the canyon walls narrow and you enter a slot canyon filled with living trees, ferns, wild roses; as well as debris (logs, rocks) washed down by flash floods. You will eventually dead end at an obstacle rock. This is the turn around point for most hikers.  More adventurous hikers tell us you can get around the rock and continue on to Stanley B. Springs.

Time on Hike: 2-3 hours depending on your resting/downtime.

SR 157 at Fletcher Canyon Trailhead- looking up towards Kyle Canyon

Driving directions: 15 N from Las Vegas to 95 N toward Reno, W on SR 157 (Mt. Charleston – Kyle Canyon) 18.1 miles (which is 1/2 mile past junction with SR 158); look for small parking area and trailhead on R (N) side of road just before reaching the USFS Visitors Center. There is very limited parking

In Fletcher Canyon looking down

Looking up at Fletcher Peak 10,319 ft / 3,145 m

GPS track of our hike, covered 4 miles up and back on the trail.

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Lone Mountain Hike in northwest part of Las Vegas

March 8, 2015

GPS: N36°14’17.88″ / W115°18’59.026″

Lone Mountain is a steep, isolated, rocky crag located in the northwest part of Las Vegas just inside the Interstate-215 Beltway. The summit stands some 600 feet above the surrounding desert and homes, giving great views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

To get there take the 215 Beltway to West Lone Mountain Road, park at the newly built Lone Mountain Regional Park, there is parking and restrooms at the park. Another alternative route is to park at the end of Vegas Vista Trail  off of West Alexander Road and head up the western side for a more direct route.

Lone Mountain Summit, Las Vegas Nevada

Panoramic view of Lone Mountain Summit, Las Vegas Nevada

Click Here for a 360° Virtual View

There are several routes up Lone Mountain. The Northwest Route is fairly steep, but it is short (0.51 miles) and takes only about 30 minutes if you stop to enjoy the scenery along the way. The other is a longer from the north end. Lone Mountain is good place for a quick get-away or after-work hike. Be careful hiking this during the summer heat it can be very hot. This hike would make a good sunset/sunrise climb with a great view of the Las Vegas valley.

Elevation: 3342 ft.
Photo By: LasVegas360.com

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Desert Megaphone

February 16, 2015

GPS: N35° 01′ 18″ W116° 11′ 51″ (WGS 84)

Desert megaphone

Desert Megaphone

Desert Megaphone. This odd looking hunk of metal was found during a trip to Afton Canyon, California. on December 23, 2000. No one really knows who built this contraption or how they built it. This thing is huge. It must be about 10 ft. long and about 2 ft. round. It is made of heavy steel and has been welded into place and set into the rocks by drilling holes. This desert art work has been named the ‘Desert Megaphone’ and is a great thing to talk about.

Its located by Crucero Rd in the Mojave desert. Nobody knows who built the Desert Megaphone or who put it there, but I feel it was made by someone working for the railroad long ago. Some have speculated that the ends may have been covered with skins and used as a drum.

The Megaphone is a big tube of welded steel fashioned from several train parts. From the looks of it some attention to detail was done to create it. If you bang on it with a rock it makes a loud clanging noise. Someone also attached a small brass bell to it, for what reason who knows. The direction it points also has no reason either.

Leave a comment if you have any information regarding the “Desert Megaphone” or have seen it prior to December of 2000.

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On This Date: January 27, 1951 First Nuclear Bomb Detonated at Nevada Test Site

January 27, 2015
Able- First Nuclear Test At the Nevada Test Site January 27, 1951

Able- First Nuclear Test At the Nevada Test Site January 27, 1951

The first nuclear bomb was tested at the Nevada Test Site on January 27, 1951. The Nevada Test Site is located 65 mi northwest of Las Vegas. The series of test was called Operation Ranger it was the fourth American nuclear test. The nuke shot was called  ‘Able’ and it was the first air-dropped nuclear device to be exploded on American soil. The test took place on Frenchman Flat, a dry lakebed in the Nevada Test Site (site 5). The .5-kiloton explosion was the first series to be carried out at the Nevada Test Site. The bomb was dropped by B-50 bombers and exploded in the open air over Frenchman Flat (Area 5).

Photo:  Department of Defense

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On This Date: January 16, 1942, Carole Lombard Dies in Plane Crash Near Las Vegas

January 16, 2015

On this date, January 16, 1942, a Douglas DC-3 Propliner left Las Vegas and crashed in to nearby Potosi Mountain.

TWA Flight 3

TWA Flight 3 Crashed in to Mount Potosi on January 16, 1942 near Las Vegas

After taking off from now named Nellis Air Force base, TWA Flight 3 flew for 15 minutes and slammed into a sheer cliff on Potosi Mountain, 32 miles southwest of the airport, at an elevation of 7,770 ft. and was destroyed.

All nineteen passengers on board, including movie star Carole Lombard, who was married to husband Clark Gable, her mother, and all three crew members, died in the crash.

Potosi Mountain can be seen from the Las Vegas valley and has a elevation of 8,517 ft.

GPS: 35° 57′ 3.71″ N, 115° 29′ 25″ W
Photo by: Wikipedia

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Lonnie Hammargren’s Nevada Day House Tour

November 2, 2014
Lonnie Hammargren

Lonnie Hammargren

Lonnie Hammargren long time Las Vegas resident, neurosurgeon, politician and eclectic collector of Las Vegas and Nevada history opens his house, Castillo del Sol to Las Vegas residents to celebrate Nevada Day. Lonnie severed as Lt. Governor of Nevada (1995-1999), and spent years as a NASA flight surgeon. His house or should I say his 3 houses combined to form one large museum with has at least 3 stories and a basement sprawl over then neighborhood near Flamingo and Sandhill.

Some of the items noted are a life-size Apollo capsule, atomic bombs, observatory, planetarium, casino signs, time machines, Liberace memorabilia (including a full set of stairs), a sarcophagus in a Egyptian tomb, stage, trains, political history, replica of Hoover Dam, large scaled size model of the Space Shuttle, memorials to fallen astronauts, Bat-mobile, Statue of Liberty, and of the latests items was the roller-coster from the the top of the Stratosphere. Lonnie’s house has been featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and the Travel Channel’s Vegas VIP Homes.

This was the final year (2014) for the public to tour of Mr. Hammargren’s house on Nevada Day weekend.

Photos by: LasVegas360.com
Date Taken: November 2, 2014

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