Public Hike: Sunrise Mountain

Las Vegas, Nevada. Saturday, March 9, 1996
Meeting time: 10:00am at the trailhead (see below)

Everyone is invited to the first of our series of free monthly public hikes for 1996, sponsored by the Area 51 Research Center.

Sunrise mountain is a 3000' peak on the northeast edge of Las Vegas overlooking Nellis Air Force base and Nellis Area II, a well-guarded compound of underground bunkers that is assumed to store nuclear weapons or anything else your imagination desires. The peak should offer a wide angle view of the Vegas Valley on the west and Lake Mead on the east.

The hike will be moderately strenuous. If you are out of shape or a smoker you should not attempt it, but if you are in good physical condition you shouldn't have much difficulty. The initial part of the hike will take 1 to 1-1/2 hours and brings us to a side peak of Sunrise Mountain, offering an excellent view of Nellis. People who have had enough can quit here, but we also have the option of continuing from there to the main peak of Sunrise mountain, which should offer a better view of Area II and a panorama of Lake Mead. We have not yet explored this last leg, but it looks like a clear shot of about 2 hours more.

OTHER ACTIVITIES: In the evening, if conditions are right, we will build a fire. Not just any fire, but a rare SOFA FIRE. This desert area on the outskirts of Vegas is a famous dumping ground for dead bodies... and sofas, sofas, sofas! Some of those davenports, if gathered together, would make a great bonfire, as well as helping to rid the desert of debris. If we find any bodies, we will throw them on the fire, too.

MEETING POINT: We will meet for the hike at 10:00 am at the trailhead in Las Vegas. The location is the far eastern end of Alto Ave. in northwestern Las Vegas. To get there from I-15, take the Lake Mead Blvd. East exit (north of downtown). Go east on Lake Mead about 5-6 miles until you get to Hollywood Blvd., which is the last cross street before the mountains. Turn left (north) on Hollywood and go about a mile to Alto. Turn right on Alto and keep going for 1 mile until it turns to dirt and ends at the base of the mountain. (You will pass a "No Trespassing" sign on Alto, which apparently refers only to the quarry on the left; you should keep going straight as the road turns to dirt.) The meeting point is where Alto ends. This will probably also be the site of our evening sofa affair, and people are free to camp out here overnight, too. This and the mountain are public land, although Nellis property is not far away.


LATE ARRIVALS: If you arrive late or plan to climb another day on your own, the trail is clearly marked at the base, but becomes harder to follow as you climb. We will try to mark it with cairns as we go. There is no trail from the side peak to the main peak of Sunrise Mountain. Although this mountain is on the edge of the city, it is still steep and rugged, and the same precautions should be taken as for any other desert hike.

THINGS TO BRING: The climate in March should be ideal for hiking, but the weather could also be volatile. You should come prepared both for hot and cold weather. High winds are a possibility. You need to bring plenty of liquids, but the volume is not as critical as in the summer. Binoculars are useful. The terrain is very rocky, so sturdy hiking shoes are recommended.

FOOD: Pack a lunch. It is not clear what we will do for dinner, but we are close enough to town that we can order out for pizza. (Does Dominos deliver to sofa parties in the desert?)

DISCLAIMER: You are responsible for your own safety on this and every other of our monthly hikes. The sponsors accept no liability for any injury or damages regardless of cause.

CONTACT: You can just show up if you want, but it would be wise to let us know you are coming so we can inform you of any last minute changes or advice we forgot to list here. Contact Glenn Campbell by email at (Local phone available on request.) On the day of the hike only, you can call us on our cell phone at 702-592-9020.

Sorry for the short notice on this hike. We'll give more warning on future hikes and are working on a comprehensive schedule for the entire year. The year's first organized hike of Tikaboo Peak (overlooking Area 51) is tentatively scheduled for May 4th, with a repeat hike in July. In April, on a date not yet set, we will be hiking Cherum Mountain near Kingman, AZ.