Turtlehead Mountain Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,898' 578 m
Descent: -155' -47 m
High: 6,248' 1,904 m
Low: 4,350' 1,326 m
GradeAvg Grade: 18% (10°)
Max Grade: 54% (28°)
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“A challenging trail with a 2,000 ft climb on rough and unstable rocky terrain.”— Caesar Garcia
To reach the trail, park at the lot for the Calico Tanks Trail. Take this trail heading north a short distance to the junction with Turtlehead Mountain Trail which heads off to the left. The trail up starts with a steady gradual incline on a combination of double and singletrack, and the surface varies between hard compact dirt and loose rocks. The first part of the hike is marked with signs that will say Turtlehead Peak Trail with an arrow. This section of trail is generally in the intermediate category of difficulty.
After about 1.2 miles, the real fun begins; the grade changes dramatically as does the terrain. Expect steep grades and larger rocks to climb over. The ground is very unstable in many sections, and the trail can be difficult if not impossible to find in some instances, making it tricky to follow the right path as you work your way up.
Follow the white arrows and/or white dot markings on many of the rocks but keep an eye out, in some instances the paint can be faded. There are green dots and arrows as well that parallel the white markings. Stay with the white markings as it will lead you to the top of Turtlehead Mountain.
On the final ascent to the top, there will be a fork in the trail with two arrows: an easy route and hard route. The hard way is no harder than what you already did to get up to that point. The top has amazing 360-degree views of Red Rock Canyon, as well as views of the Vegas skyline. It is well worth the hike.
The descent can be dangerous with the steep grade and unstable footing. Expect it to take longer than a normal 2.2 mile descent. Again, follow the white arrows and white dot markings.
Be prepared on this hike; bring plenty of water, snacks, and have proper footwear with good grip and stability. If hiking with dogs, they should be agile enough to jump up and down rocks.
Cell phone coverage varies along this trail so don't rely on it for emergencies.
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Land Manager: BLM Nevada - Southern Nevada