Ascent of Hayford Peak on 2018-05-20

Climber: Greg Slayden

Others in Party:Dave Covill
Date:Sunday, May 20, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Hayford Peak
    Elevation:9912 ft / 3021 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a long but relatively pleasant and challenging day-hike up a peak that does not see too many ascents. Of the 57 "Ultras" in the contiguous USA, this is certainly one of the most obscure.

We hiked on a Sunday, and we saw about five parties hiking down (or starting down). They all camped in the vicinity of the Hidden Forest Cabin on Saturday night, a popular backpacking spot for Las Vegas locals. None had gone to the summit of Hayford. During the work week, it seems likely you could have the peak to yourself.

From the cabin, a cairned path runs uphill shortly to the Winegrass Spring (which has a pipe down to the cabin). Above that, the unmaintained path leads up a long SW ridge (with minor ups and downs) to near Peak 9290, and then drops down 100 feet to a col before the final steep climb of the summit cone of Hayford. The footing is a bit loose on this last section, but otherwise the hike is mostly easy going. There are some communication masts on the summit, probably serviced by helicopter.

We took an alternate route down from the col, following the dry watercourse down to the cabin. This is a good way to do the peak--doing two routes adds variety to your day, and most people will not want to ascend the 100 feet up towards Peak 9290 on the way back. The valley route is less distinct and has few cairns or other markings, but the terrain is easy and staying in or near the dry stream bed will lead you right back to the cabin.

We were a bit tired after doing Charleston yesterday (until 9 PM) so were kind of dragging for most of the day. The approach trail up Deadman Canyon has lots of loose gravel and is a bit hard to hike over. We took 6 hours up (7:20 AM to 1:20 PM) and about 3:50 down (1:45 PM to 5:35 PM).

This was Dave's first intentional prominence peak, and I appreciated his company for this new kind of peakbagging.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4162 ft / 1268 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4162 ft / 1268 m
    Round-Trip Distance:15.5 mi / 24.9 km
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4162 ft / 1268 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4062 ft / 1238 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:7.7 mi / 12.5 km
    Route:Hidden Forest, SW Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Deadman Canyon TH  5850 ft / 1783 m
    Time:6 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4062 ft / 1238 m
    Distance:7.7 mi / 12.4 km
    Route:SW Valley, Hidden Forest
    End Trailhead:Deadman Canyon TH  5850 ft / 1783 m
    Time:3 Hours 50 Minutes

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