Leo and I decided to hike the Kraft Mountain Loop trail after he read about it in Hiking Las Vegas. The trail overview described it as a 2-3 hour hike with mild scrambling and is suitable for children. That sounded about right for an afternoon hike: a little more than a brisk walk in the park and a little less than a full body workout.
Armed with GPS coordinates, we headed out at 1:30 PM. We planned on getting to the summit and back down by 4:30 PM as the sun sets at around 4:45 PM this time of year. If all goes to plan, we’d be at the top for golden hour and then make it back down with plenty of light to guide our way.
Getting to the top involved a few sections where I had to pull myself up some steep faces and walk on edges although I never felt like I needed a rope. Loose rocks that had collected in gullies would roll downhill, providing a soundtrack in an otherwise muted landscape.
The top of the mountain has a box containing a register and assorted snacks. The last time someone was at the top was just a few days ago. I hope it was the same person who left the trail mix in the box as I grabbed a couple handfuls.
You would think that going down would be easier than going up but that’s not the case with this trail (or at least with the path that we took). We may have been victims of a misguided sense of adventure when we climbed through a short tunnel that dropped us off to the side of the mountain with rougher trails and more vegetation. There were many occasions when I had to sit down so I could stabilize myself to get down to ledges.
“Is this trail really suitable for children?” was the question I kept raising in my head. “Definitely not,” was my answer at this point.
It took us 4 hours to complete the loop and required us to pull out our headlamps as it took longer than expected. I went through the book when we got back to Leo’s place and I can only conclude that we went off trail. Yes, there were trail markers along the way but that doesn’t necessarily mean we were going the right way.
The trail did provide great views and lots of barrel cacti and agave. I’d like to check out the Alcove of Dreams referenced in EveryTrail.com when I make it out that way again.