Forum Index > Trip Reports > Pinto Valley Wilderness Nov 10-12, 2015 (Lake Mead NRA)
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John Morrow
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PostMon Nov 16, 2015 12:28 pm 
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Located along the Northshore of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the Pinto Valley Wilderness is a fine small wilderness unit able to absorb a multiday backpack, complete with a nice spring to set up a nearby basecamp.  I picked up my good friend and coworker Deb at McCarran Airport and we headed in for 3 days.  Deb was ready to get out of the PNW for a few days, too.  We had few goals in mind, to both do some hiking and appreciating of rock art.  She wanted to journal and draw, both things she does masterfully.  I wanted to ascend the occasional summit.  Opportunities abounded.

Tuesday:

Starting on the Northshore Road, we headed in near the Redstone picnic area.  Sandstone Spring, and basecamp, are only 3 nearly level miles in.

Deb searching at the start
Deb searching at the start
Avoiding a void
Avoiding a void
Pinto Valley Wilderness, NV
Pinto Valley Wilderness, NV
Spring!
Spring!
Sandstone Spring area camp
Sandstone Spring area camp
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Wednesday:

We explored the famed Pinto Valley and then I scampered up a couple easy summits Peak 2733 and Boulder Peak, overlooking Lake Mead.


Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
colors
colors
To those summits next
To those summits next
Pinto Valley Wilderness, NV
Pinto Valley Wilderness, NV
Boulder Peak NW ridgewalk
Boulder Peak NW ridgewalk
Pyramid and Saddle Mountains
Pyramid and Saddle Mountains
Pinto Valley Wilderness, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, NV
Pinto Valley Wilderness, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, NV
Sentinel again
Sentinel again
Harsh times
Harsh times
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Thursday:

I woke early for an exciting Class 3/4 scramble of nearly 1000 vertical feet of tilted sandstone of the gorgeous formation of "The Sentinel" 3207'


The Sentinel N Face climb
The Sentinel N Face climb
Slab climbing
Slab climbing
Fine slab scrambling
Fine slab scrambling
Summit view east
Summit view east
Pinto Valley Wilderness, NV
Pinto Valley Wilderness, NV
Distant metropolis
Distant metropolis
Descending slabs
Descending slabs
Sentinel route, looking back
Sentinel route, looking back

The hike out was gentle and leisurely.


Sentinel N Face Route
Sentinel N Face Route
Last look at Redstone
Last look at Redstone

Found some art:

My sense is that this art shows the geographic melding of Ancestral Puebloan and southern Mojave Desert tribal ancestry.


snake
snake
various
various
slab 2
slab 2
slab
slab
turtle?
turtle?
bird feet?
bird feet?
sandstone slab
sandstone slab
curves and circles
curves and circles
anasazi 1
anasazi 1
In sandstone; Pinto Valley Wilderness, NV
In sandstone; Pinto Valley Wilderness, NV

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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RichP
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PostWed Nov 18, 2015 8:23 pm 
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Looks great. I could use some of that about right now.

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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Gimpilator
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PostThu Nov 19, 2015 2:16 am 
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Awesome trip.  Thanks for the desert trip report.  I'm hoping to get down that way soon.

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Doppelganger
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PostFri Nov 20, 2015 7:37 am 
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John Morrow wrote:
slab 2
slab 2

John, I'm assuming you knew what was out there and where to look before heading to Sandstone Spring, but I am curious - did you find this slab by chance? Can you describe how that occurred (without offering information on it's location of course)?

Edit: I'm more interested in what was going through your mind when you found it smile.gif
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John Morrow
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PostSat Nov 21, 2015 2:08 pm 
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Gimpilator wrote:
Awesome trip.  Thanks for the desert trip report.  I'm hoping to get down that way soon.

Thanks, Gimpilator.  I feel like we share inspiration at times when heading down this way.  Looking forward to your postings once you arrive.
John

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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John Morrow
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PostSat Nov 21, 2015 2:18 pm 
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Doppelganger wrote:
John, I'm assuming you knew what was out there and where to look before heading to Sandstone Spring, but I am curious - did you find this slab by chance? Can you describe how that occurred (without offering information on it's location of course)?

Edit: I'm more interested in what was going through your mind when you found it smile.gif

Hi Doppelganger,

Very few of my sites are true "finds".  One of the Mojave painted caves in another TR was such a find...laborsome travel and looking for physical features that may house habitation at some point.
Pinto Valley I got general info from by way of Kay Plaza and Bird and Hike websites.  Then it was a matter of finding jumbles of rockfall with Deb and sharing a search around.  In anasazi country it is looking at buttresses, alcoves, varnish faces, etc.  In Mojave Country it seems more random.  I can spend a lot of time failing to find anything.  Just got out of Spirit Mountain and Bridge canyon Wildernesses with my friend Laurie.  Other than the famous sites it was sparse.  Laurie found a nice petro of an atlatl and dart and a single rakey thingy and we were happy after 5 days travel!.  I've been concentrating at varnished rock piles, water sources, and caves here in Mojave.  Binocs are indespensible!!!!!
Happy exploring.
I do share locations once I get a sense of conscientious travel and visitation and genuine appreciation.  "Tread Lightly" indeed!!!!  NPS Ranger asked I not post on the painted caves sites so I am vague about that general location.
I appreciate you asking.  I want to engage in discussion with others regarding such ethics to see what is right and proper toward encouraging caring folks to view and gain inspiration from such places without encouraging the vandals.
John

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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MojaveGeek
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PostSun Nov 22, 2015 6:10 pm 
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You do wonder how much rock art is out there that you just miss, what fraction you find.  I'm glad you found that big red slab in the main valley.  Of course, to someone out there on foot, you can find that piece just from your photo.  In fact, I was out there with Jim from birdandhike and though he'd been before, he had not found that site, but I had a photo like yours from a friend and walked right up to it.    Well I knew where it was within about 1/4 mile from verbal description.  And then Jim showed me some I never would have noticed while just hiking through.

I think it is paranoid to not put up photos but best to not give detailed text directions in any public site on the web.

Your horizontal slab that's all covered with art is very nice.  I like that one a lot.  Maybe some day I'll get back out there and find it smile.gif  Like you say, when you start to get a sense of where to look, you find them.
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Eric Hansen
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PostSun Nov 22, 2015 7:06 pm 
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Thanks again John for a great tr, pics. I've been north of Bowl Of Fire, never worked the south side of the road.
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Doppelganger
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PostMon Nov 23, 2015 8:46 am 
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John Morrow wrote:
I do share locations once I get a sense of conscientious travel and visitation and genuine appreciation.  "Tread Lightly" indeed!!!!  NPS Ranger asked I not post on the painted caves sites so I am vague about that general location.
I appreciate you asking.  I want to engage in discussion with others regarding such ethics to see what is right and proper toward encouraging caring folks to view and gain inspiration from such places without encouraging the vandals.

Tough question - I have no experience in the sites of the SW where I'm sure the answer is much harder to come by. I know here in the PNW we are faced with similar problems at certain sites, the lava tubes around Mt. St. Helens come immediately to mind. The locations of several can be found with some work online, but I've found the locations of many to be closely held secrets for some of the same reasons. Preservation, discouragement of vandalism, safety by reducing the number of neophyte spelunkers. But does hiding 99% of these treasures truly encourage enthusiasm? Conversely, would the risk of injury, inevitable vandalism or wear and tear be worth making some or all cave locations general knowledge? The kipuka where most of the tubes are hiding is treacherous terrain where it's easy to get lost or injured, particularly the larger lava field towards Adams. The question gets harder when something more delicate like human heritage comes into play, the petroglyphs at Wedding Rocks are irreplaceable and unprotected in any way. Recent damage from a storm was tough to hear about, and sites such as this are rare in Washington. What's the correct course of action? Do we pick them up and stick them in cases for future generations to see? Do we leave them on the beach to erode, so there are only Flickr albums to show grandchildren? I don't love either option, but I'm glad I have had chances to see all of these things.
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Gimpilator
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PostMon Dec 31, 2018 4:23 pm 
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Hi John,

I was out in this area again yesterday.  I first heard rumor of these panels from some fellow hikers, about 3 years ago.  I've looked for them a few times, but no luck.  Wish I had the skill you do for finding good rock art.

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http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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John Morrow
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PostWed Jan 02, 2019 10:54 am 
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Gimpilator wrote:
Hi John,

I was out in this area again yesterday.  I first heard rumor of these panels from some fellow hikers, about 3 years ago.  I've looked for them a few times, but no luck.  Wish I had the skill you do for finding good rock art.

Hi Adam,
At some point I'll likely carry a GPS to get coords but for now written descriptions and maps is what I can provide, of course.  Before you go back (lots of destinations in there though you've almost hit 'em all) I'll give you the details I can remember to the art.  Getting caught up at perusing all the available varnish faces really can eat into my peak time!

I'd like to have given you my loop info for Hoover Dam Peaks out of Goldstrike as I found it to be quite aesthetic and fun! (I'll cross post this in your recent TR)

--------------
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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