Bonanza Peak via Cold Creek

Distance: 10 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 2845 ft
Hike Time: 7.5 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Trail Condition: OK, but a few difficult spots
Hike Type: Out and Back
Summary: Heavily frequented by wild horses, elk and deer; it is extremely important to respect these animals and their precious habitat. You must be a self-sufficient desert hiker, prepared for emergencies -- it could easily be days or weeks before you see another hiker. The hills up to Bonanza Peak are covered with either wildflowers or pine trees. There are supposedly 80 switchbacks on this trail, so you can get distracted watching game and the incredible views and lose count. This climb is less strenuous than either the North or South Loop trails in Mt. Charleston; but it's not a beginner's hike. There is a log book to sign at the peak, which is off a "hidden path" from the main trail. Dry hike, take LOTS of H2O!
Trailhead: I-95 N from Las Vegas, continue past SR 157 (Mt. Charleston-Kyle Canyon) and SR 156 (Lee Canyon), and head as if driving to Indian Springs. Look for small green sign on the freeway for Cold Creek (approx. 5 miles past Lee Canyon Ski Area turnoff), turn off freeway here and drive up the mountain past the prisons (State, Federal, work camps) toward the town of Cold Creek (approx. 15 miles). Continue driving (slowly -- look out for wild horses on & along road) until you reach the end of pavement on main road. Drive up the gravel 4WD road towards Camp Bonanza approx. 2 1/2 miles until it ends into the parking area. There is no gas, phones, or services of any type in the town of Cold Creek -- be sure you are prepared. Only pull your horse trailer part of the way to Camp Bonanza, pull off to the L on one of the dirt roads and park/unload horses there (limited pkg/turn around at trailhead). The walk-in campground is up the hill, AWAY from the trailhead in pkg area. (Lat:[masked] Lon:[masked])

TIPS: As always bring plenty of Water (3-4 liters) and be well hydrated before starting any hike.

CONTACT: Email me through the site, or comment here with any questions. The day of the hike I can be reached on my cell[masked]

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that your Meetup organizers are not tour guides and are not park rangers. Expect the same risks and take the same precautions you would take if you were hiking alone. You are solely responsible for your own safety and well-being. By signing up for and/or attending this Meetup event, you acknowledge, understand, accept, and agree that hiking and other outdoor activities can be dangerous and can cause serious bodily injury and possibly death. The organizers of this group and current and former members cannot be held responsible or liable in any way for the actions of any participant - including you - at any event. All attendees participate at an event at their own risk and are solely responsible for any damage to their property, and/or any injury to themselves or their guests. By signing up for this event, you affirm that you understand this disclaimer, and that you knowingly and voluntarily agree not to bring any type of claim arising out of or related to this Meetup event.

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  • Jon B.

    Great Hike with Spectacular views, the weather cooperated beautifully.

    August 18, 2013

  • Jay B.

    Great Hike, thanks everyone

    August 17, 2013

  • Thomas G.

    Nice hike Jon thanks

    August 17, 2013

  • Jay B.

    Does that last 2.5 miles require a 4WD? Was planning to meet everyone at trailhead at 7

    1 · August 15, 2013

    • Thomas G.

      The last two miles are on adirt road. High clearance vehicles will have no problem, but rain may change the road conditions.

      1 · August 15, 2013

    • Jay B.

      Alright, thanks for the information. Ill bring the truck

      August 16, 2013

  • Thomas G.

    Saturday’s hike to Bonanza will be above 8,000 feet. The peak sits at 10,400 feet. You’ll be exposed to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude aka AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) or Altitude Sickness. Unless you are acclimated most people will be affected by it to some degree. It is monsoon season and the mountains will get some rain in the afternoon. Be prepared and bring rain gear. This hike will take most of the day in good weather. The peak is no place to be during a thunderstorm so we’ll need to be on our way down by early afternoon. Storms usually roll in afternoon. Remember making the peak is not mandatory, but making it back to the car is. Bring at least 3 liters of water and food. I like Cliff Bars and electrolyte enhanced water. You can pick up Gatorade products at the supermarket or REI has products to add to tap water.

    August 13, 2013

    • Jon B.

      Thanks for the great information Tom, as always I appreciate your wisdom and knowledge of the terrain!

      August 13, 2013

  • Jon B.

    Jeff is coming and he has a Jeep

    August 12, 2013

  • Jay B.

    Planning to bring guest. Can drive my truck to trail

    August 10, 2013

  • Ben

    Sorry I can't make it. My wife and I are kayaking below Hoover Dam ect....Maybe next time

    August 9, 2013

  • Thomas G.

    There is a 2 mile dirt road to the trail head will need HCV. I have room for 3-4 in mine.

    August 5, 2013

    • Jon B.

      I don't think our Tribute would classify, if I can get jeff to come maybe he can drive his jeep too.

      August 5, 2013

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