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A challenging trail with a 2,000 ft climb on rough and unstable rocky terrain.

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6,248' 1,904 m


4,350' 1,326 m


1,898' 578 m


155' 47 m



Avg Grade (10°)


Max Grade (28°)

Dogs Leashed

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Runner Notes

The first 1/2 of the trail is a steady uphill at a low grade, but once you get past the halfway point, the next 1/4 of the trail is very uneven limestone with loose rock, (but still able to punch up it for those that are conditioned to steep objectives. The last 1/4 is a ridgeline run to a bit more of *less* steep pushing to the top.

Have good tread and/or poles if you want to make a speedy decent down. Otherwise, it will take you longer than you'd expect.


This is a challenging trail that will require an individual to be conditioned and agile enough to run and climb rough unstable rocky terrain. The entire trail is exposed and can experience extreme weather anytime of the year. Take plenty of water, dress in layers, and have sun protection.

To reach the trail, park at the lot for the Calico Tanks Trail. Take this trail heading north a short distance to the junction with Turtlehead Mountain Trail which heads off to the left. The trail up starts with a steady gradual incline on a combination of double and singletrack, and the surface varies between hard compact dirt and loose rocks. The first part of the run is marked with signs that will say Turtlehead Peak Trail with an arrow. This section of trail is generally in the intermediate category of difficulty.

After about 1.2 miles, the real fun begins; the grade changes dramatically as does the terrain. Expect steep grades and larger rocks to climb over. The ground is very unstable in many sections, and the trail can be difficult if not impossible to find in some instances, making it tricky to follow the right path as you work your way up.

Follow the white arrows and/or white dot markings on many of the rocks but keep an eye out, in some instances the paint can be faded. There are green dots and arrows as well that parallel the white markings. Stay with the white markings as it will lead you to the top of Turtlehead Mountain.

On the final ascent to the top, there will be a fork in the trail with two arrows: an easy route and hard route. The hard way is no harder than what you already did to get up to that point. The top has amazing 360-degree views of Red Rock Canyon, as well as views of the Vegas skyline. It is well worth the run.

The descent can be dangerous with the steep grade and unstable footing. Expect it to take longer than a normal 2.2 mile descent. Again, follow the white arrows and white dot markings.

Be prepared on this run; bring plenty of water, snacks, and have proper footwear with good grip and stability. If running with dogs, they should be agile enough to jump up and down rocks.

Cell phone coverage varies along this trail so don't rely on it for emergencies.


Shared By:

Caesar Garcia with improvements by Sam Elander

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 44 votes


  4.7 from 44 votes
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in Nevada


29 Views Last Month
3,350 Since Apr 24, 2017
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View from the top of Turtlepeak Mountain
Dec 3, 2017 near Summerl…, NV
View from trail on the way up to Turtlehead Mountain.  Approx 3/4 of way up at this point.
Dec 2, 2017 near Summerl…, NV
Nearly the top of Turtlepeak Mountain.
Dec 3, 2017 near Summerl…, NV
On trail to Turtlehead Mountain.
Oct 25, 2018 near Summerl…, NV
On trail to Turtlehead Mountain.
Oct 25, 2018 near Summerl…, NV
From Turtlehead Mountain.
Oct 25, 2018 near Summerl…, NV


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 27 days ago
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