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This is our first Tikaboo hike of the season and our fourth year of public hikes here. The climate in April should be pleasant -- not too hot or cold -- although there could be a risk of windy weather.
WARNING: This is a moderately strenuous 1-1/2 hour hike (and one hour back). It should not be attempted by people who are not in good physical shape. Experienced hikers or people who get regular exercise you should have no trouble, but this is not a hike for smokers or couch potatoes. The vertical distance traveled is less than 1000 feet and the hiking distance is less than two miles, but at 7000-8000 feet every step can be exhausting for those who are used to sea level.
If you are coming from Las Vegas, you need to leave town around 7 am to arrive at the meeting point in time, and you probably won't get back until evening. To reach the meeting point from Las Vegas, go north on I-15 (Salt Lake City direction) for about 20 miles to the US-93 exit, then go north on US-93 for 66.8 miles to milepoint LN 32.2. (Mileposts are marked every mile by small white signs on the side of the road.) The meeting point is at a minor dirt road (marked only by a stop sign) between the Lower and Upper Pahranagat Lakes in the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. This location is about 0.3 mile past the well-marked entrance to the refuge headquarters. If you arrive later than 9 am, you can try to catch up with us by following the dirt road west from here, but there is no guarantee you will find us.
After meeting at the highway, we will drive west on a good dirt road (suitable for any vehicle) about 25 miles to Badger Spring. 4WD vehicles can proceed about 0.5 mi beyond this point.
This location is public land many miles from the military border, so encounters with authorities are unlikely. Feel free to bring a camera, although you'll need a telephoto lens to capture any of the secret base. Area 51 appears as an ordinary Air Force base 25 miles in the distance, and only a few large hangars are visible with the naked eye.
BRING. You should come prepared for both hot weather (short pants and sun hat) and cold (jacket and long pants). Weather should be no higher than the 80s or cooler than the 50s, but the sun could be intense. Sturdy hiking shoes, short pants, short-sleeve shirt, a wide-brimmed hat are essential, and you need to bring at least 3 quarts of liquid on the hike. Telescopes are needed for viewing the base, but there should be enough of them among the group that not everyone needs to bring one.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Hotel rooms in Las Vegas can be scarce and expensive on Friday and Saturday nights. If you are not camping, we suggest staying at one of the I-15 hotels in Jean (800-628-6682) or Stateline (800-367-7383); Vacation Village in Las Vegas ($55, 800-658-5000) or in one of the few motel rooms in Alamo (702-725-3371). Camping is also a reasonable alternative, although you should be prepared for temperatures as low as freezing at night.
DISCLAIMER. You are responsible for your own safety on this outing. The organizers of this hike accept no liability whatsoever for any loss or injury.
TIKABOO INFO. You can also hike Tikaboo anytime on your own. Complete information on Tikaboo Peak can be found in the "Area 51 Viewers Guide", available for $15 plus $4 postage from Area 51 Research Center, PO Box 448, Rachel, NV 89001, or 702-729-2648. For more info see: http://www.ufomind.com/catalog/v/vg/vg.html
Cellular phones work fine at the highway meeting point and at the summit but not in-between. We will have one with us, so if you have any problems on the day of hike, try that phone at 702-523-9374 (the day of the hike and the day before only!).
Highway Meeting Point (US-93) 37d16.815' 115d07.070' Intermediate Road Points 37d12.463' 115d11.662' 37d18.901' 115d17.747' Badger Spring 37d20.807' 115d20.436' Trailhead 37d20.887' 115d20.767' Tikaboo Summit 37d20.650' 115d21.462'For more information on Area 51, see http://www.ufomind.com/area51