Mount Stirling, Hayford Peak, Potosi Mountain
By: Roy Ward
The long weekend occasioned by George Bithengton's Washday was fast approaching and only one 3 day trip was scheduled by the DPS. We chose not to go on that trip for 2 reasons;(1) we had climbed the peaks scheduled and (2) they Wouldn't let us come since we didn't have reservations. Not to be outdone and sit home all weekend, we decided to go to Nevada and climb Stirling, Hayford and Potosi. Armed with Information gathered from helpful DPSers, we took off on our quest of desert peaks.
We were warned that the roadhead for Stirling was very difficult to find but we had no trouble. All we did, was to imagine if we were a roadhead road, where would we go. We did, it did, and there we were. Only one small hitch, there was only a little snow, so we decided who needs chains. By the way, they are much more difficult to put on when you are stuck and half off the road. From the roadhead the peak went nicely. Back to the road and then since we didn't have time enough to climb Hayford and too much time to waste, we went into Las Vegas and took advantage of their "come on" food. We watched the people feed the bandits.
The next morning after a 48 cent breakfast, we were off to Hayford, leaving US 95 thru the game preserve opposite Mt. Charleston. We drove 16 miles on the dirt road up to the Hidden Forest, Deadman's Canyon turn off, then 4 miles up to the locked gate. We did get to see and photograph a badger to liven up the trip. We walked 4 miles to the cabin, then a couple of miles on up to the peak, where we saw a bighorn sheep. The Magnusons were the last entry in the register last fall. On back to the truck and then back to Vegas, where we repeated our rubber-necking of the previous night, ate supper and headed for the desert to spend the night.
We ate breakfast at a truckstop and then drove toward Potosi on the Pahrump road. We turned off, went over Potosi Pass and followed a rough road to a prospect shack to the southwest of the peak. The peak went very well from here. We found Dick and Shirley Akawie had signed the register the day before us. We saw the road to the microwave station that is very visible from the peak. Down to the truck and back to Nevada 53, we cut south to Goodsprings on a dirt road. This road goes thru the Cottonwood Valley and over Cottonwood Pass and on to Goodsprings in about 16 miles. In Goodsprings at the Frontier Saloon, we found where the road, that is visible going to the microwave station, comes from. We think this saloon should be added to the 100 Binges list. The bartender says, that there is a locked gate 3 miles from the top and that it requires a 4WD to get to the gate. Other vehicles suitable for desert travel can get to within a half mile of the gate. To try this route turn off at Jean, Nevada, to Goodsprings (.7 mi). Just past the Pioneer Saloon on Reves St. turn right 2 blocks (.2 mi), pavement goes left, turn right on Pacific St., 1 block, then left and follow main dirt road for 1.7 miles. Where the road forks, the left fork goes to Potosi. The right fork with signs goes to Nevada 53, Pahrump-Blue Diamond Road. Lots of luck and let us know how it goes. We didn't try this route. We came on back to LA, having no problem with gas on the road, only in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
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