Fern Canyon
(Red Rock Canyon NCA)

Fern Canyon - The localized name for the North Fork of Pine Creek Canyon gets its name because the abundance of water and limitation of sunlight in the canyon provides the right climate for ferns to grow. This moderately strenuous out-and-back hike is only about 5.5 miles in total distance with 900 feet of elevation gain, but provides some fairly intense boulder scrambling for the participants the farther they get back into the canyon. The turn around point is a dry fall wall upon which hikers can climb atop. The scenery here is awesome.

Fern Canyon Overlook
(Red Rock Canyon NCA)

Fern Canyon Overlook - When high clearance 4WD vehicles are available, this moderately strenuous hike begins 2.5 miles up Rocky Gap Road from the Willow Springs Picnic Area. The 5 mile hike ascends on the steep ridge trail across the wash then follows the limestone/sandstone line above Ice Box Canyon around to the edge of a cliff approximately 1000 feet high. The views from the circling route are to die for ... so be careful! Elevation gain will be at 2300 feet. This route can also be used for an approach to Bridge Mountain.

First Creek
(Red Rock Canyon NCA)

First Creek - The starting point for this hike is on the right side of Highway 159 about 4.3 miles west of the Red Rock entrance. A 3 to 4 mile easy to moderate hike crosses the desert to a 10-foot hidden waterfall which flows seasonally about one mile from the start, then follows the drainage to the mouth of First Creek Canyon nestled between Wilson and Indecision Peaks on the escarpment. After about 2 miles, the trail basically ends and any further hiking into the canyon involves rock scrambling. This trail has a very gradual elevation increase of less than 400 feet and is ideal for those experiencing the Red Rock Canyon area for the first time.

First / Corkscrew Canyons Loop
(Desert National Wildlife Refuge)

First / Corkscrew Canyons Loop - This is a 7 mile loop with 4 of those miles crossing alluvial fans emanating from the two targeted canyons. Located in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, the hike begins 4 miles from the Corn Creek Visitor Center up the Mormon Well Road. After reaching First Canyon, the route immediately begins working to the left finding a saddle with a great view that crosses over to Corkscrew Canyon. Corkscrew Canyon then winds back down to the desert. There is 1700 feet of elevation gain and the hike would be rated strenuous due to the terrain.

Five Mesas
(Valley of Fire State Park)

Five Mesas - The Valley of Fire State Park is filled with eroded redstone making many beautiful rock formations. In a few places, the dolomite that formerly topped the sandstone is not yet eroded forming mesas or plateaus above the park. This moderately strenuous hike climbs up and over five of the mesas with plenty of red rock scrambling in between. The hike begins and ends at the Mouse's Tank Trailhead. This hike is 5 miles with 1200 feet of elevation gain. For further questions about this or any other hike at Valley of Fire, contact Brian Dodd. (briandodd (at) cox.net)

Fletcher Canyon
(Spring Mountains NRA)

Fletcher Canyon - The hike begins at the Fletcher Canyon Trailhead on Kyle Canyon Road about a mile past the Spring Mountains NRA Visitor Center. The out-and-back route passes through a wide area of assorted forest before climbing a series of short ramps. The last 1/3 mile passes through a slot canyon that is a mere 5 feet wide at its narrowest. The hike reaches its farthest point below a waterfall formation called Obstacle Rock. The canyon scenery is spectacular. Total distance for the easy moderate hike is 4 miles with an elevation gain of 430 feet.

Fletcher Peak
(Spring Mountains NRA)

Fletcher Peak - This is the easiest peak to climb in the upper elevations of the Spring Mountains. A moderately strenuous out-and-back hike of 7 miles, this trek uses the North Loop Trail from the eastern trail head located on Highway 158. The trail climbs to an open meadow area and past a series of twelve switchbacks before reaching the top of a ridge with the peak in view across Hummingbird Gulch. It then follows the ridge for nearly 1/2 mile to a spur trail on the left that goes to the peak. This trail generally stays close to the edge overlooking Kyle Canyon. Total distance for the out-and-back hike is 7.5 miles with 2500 feet of elevation gain. An alternate route starts at a trailhead near Robber's Roost on Highway 158. This route, which is slightly shorter but more strenuous and has some exposure, climbs through Hummingbird Gulch.

Fletcher Peak (North Loop / Wild Horse Canyon)

Fletcher Peak (Hummingbird Gulch O&B)

Fortification Hill
(Lake Mead NRA)

Fortification Hill - The trailhead for this hike is located at the end of Kingman Wash Road, the first exit after crossing the bridge at Hoover Dam into Arizona. The out-and-back moderately strenuous hike totaling 4 miles climbs a ridge that approaches the northeast corner of the cliff area on the hill, then follows the cliffs north to an opening that can be climbed with minor difficulty to the plateau on top. At the peak, there is an excellent view of Hoover Dam. Total elevation gain for the hike is 1200 feet. The trail on the ridge section approaching the cliffs often is subject to high wind conditions.

Fossil Ridge
(Red Rock Canyon NCA)

Fossil Ridge - This hike is located on North Blue Diamond Hill across from Red Rock Canyon and starts from the Cowboy Trails trailhead about one mile beyond the scenic loop entrance. It is done as an easy to moderate loop hike, with one leg on the ridge (Fossil Ridge) above Echo Canyon. There are several options available for this hike, starting with an easy to moderate 2.8-mile loop with 400 feet of elevation gain and building that to a moderate 5 mile loop with 750 feet of gain. In any case, part of the hike will pass along the ridge directly above Echo Canyon and with great views down into the heart of the canyon.

Four Burros Loop
(Red Rock Canyon NCA)

Four Burros Loop - This moderate trek in Cottonwood Valley takes in 6.5 miles of  points of interest in the desert. With only 800 feet of elevation gain, the trail leaves from the Late Night Trailhead on Highway 160 and passes by the Rubber Ducky Yucca which may or may not have rubber ducks displayed. Next, the route circles around for a climb up a hill, drops in a limestone wash, circles around for another climb up the hill after passing the old lawn mower landmark, then drops again to return to the trailhead. The original hike on this route passed by four wild burros.

Fracture Ridge Peak

Fracture Ridge Peak - The strenuous hike to Fracture Ridge uses the same trailhead and first mile of trail as the hike to Black Mountain in Henderson. At a signed trail split, the Fracture Ridge trail goes to the right and crosses a very wide drainage area before getting to the base of the ridge. The opening part of the climb is very steep, followed by a more moderate ascent on the trail along the ridge. About 1/2 mile from the peak, the trail ends and it becomes necessary to scramble over and around lava boulders and outcroppings. The peak is narrow and offers a great 360 degree view. After descending from the main ridge, another trail passes through the Sloan Canyon Conservation Area before returning to the start. Total distance is 7 miles with about 2000 feet of elevation gain.

Frenchman Mountain - Mt. Reagan
(Las Vegas - East valley - Sunrise Mountains)

Frenchman Mountain - The starting point for the strenuous out-and-back hike is located at the east end of Bonanza Road. An unmarked trail starts as a gravel road and travels somewhat north around a ridge at the base of the mountain. The trail is fairly easy to follow as it climbs alongside a canyon. About halfway up the mountain the trail essentially ends and the route becomes a scramble up a rocky ridge. Periodically, short sections of trail will appear, but the route continues up the ridge to the peak. The main peak is located just south of the communications towers at the top. Care must be exercised on the return because of some exposed outcroppings. Total distance is 4 to 5 miles with over 2000 feet gain.

West Side Canyon Ascent Route