The Park Peak Loop Trail is a moderate 5.2 mile roundtrip hike that takes you from the Shadow Canyon Canyon Trailhead to the top of Park Peak via the beginning of the #404 Black Mountain Trail, crossing a broad valley to the base of Park Peak using the #402 Connector Trail, and then using the #403 Park Peak Trail to get to the Park Peak summit and to return back to the Shadow Canyon Trailhead. Standing at 3,813 feet, Park Peak is one of the lower mountain peaks in the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, but it provides excellent views of the Las Vegas. This is an excellent hike for families and those who are new to hiking. The only tricky part about this hike is scrambling across some boulders at the top of Park Peak.
There are two routes to Park Peak, the #403 Park Peak Trail and the Park Peak Loop Trail. Below is the description of the Park Peak Loop Trail. While using the #403 Park Peak Trail is the shorter (4.9 miles) and the most direct route to Park Peak, the Park Peak Loop Trail is my favorite route to get to Park Peak. While the #403 Trail takes you to the northern base of Park Peak where the trail turns into a clockwise loop that takes you to the top of Park Peak on the east side and takes you down on the west side until you close the loop rejoin the trail back to the Shadow Canyon Trailhead, you don’t ever retrace your steps on the Park Peak Loop Trail, and you get the experience of using three different trails.
Before attempting to hike the Park Peak Loop Trail, please make sure that you are prepared and are following the guidelines for hiker safety.
The Park Peak Loop Trail Map
Waypoint 1 – Shadow Canyon Trailhead (N 35.94513° W 115.08158°)
The hike begins at the Shadow Canyon Trailhead in the Sun City Anthem neighborhood in Henderson. To find the trailhead, you can enter 2268 Shadow Canyon Drive Henderson, NV 89044 enter your GPS/Google Maps (which is the home next to the trailhead). There are not bathrooms at the trailhead. There is limited parking, so it is not uncommon for hikers to park on Shadow Canyon Drive.
The first half mile of the hike is on a paved trail that provides access to several different trails in the area.
Waypoint 2 – Right Turn Up to Cinder Block Structure (N 35.94034° W 115.07834°)
After you have traveled .4 miles on the paved trail take the paved trail to the right that takes you up towards the power lines and the cinder block structure.
Waypoint 3 – Cinder Block Structure (N 35.93949° W 115.07767°)
After you have traveled .49 miles you will reach the cinder block structure. There is a map of the nearby trails on the east wall.
To get to the Black Mountain #404 Trail you will pass to the left (east) of the cinder block structure and head towards the south edge of the detention basin.
As you pass the utility road behind the cinder block structure you will hike on a dirt trail that takes you to south ridge of the detention basin. Hike along the south ridge of the detention basin until you find the Black Mountain Trail sign.
Waypoint 4 – Black Mountain Sign (N 35.93862° W 115.07543°)
After you have traveled .66 miles from the Shadow Canyon Trailhead, you should find the Black Mountain #404 Trail to on your right. The trail is marked by the traditional Black Mountain sign pictured above and the brown BLM trail posts. Please note that every now and again the traditional Black Mountain sign gets knocked down by the elements. The north Black Mountain #404 primitive trail is accessed by continuing east on the south rim of the detention basin (the north trail should only be used by experienced hikers).
Waypoint 5 – One Mile Mark (N 35.936730° W 115.072224°)
From the Black Mountain Trail sign, you travel on a well maintained hiking trail .34 miles to the one mile mark from the Shadow Canyon Trailhead. The trail conditions will be similar for the next 2 miles. At around the three mile mark, the trail becomes very steep and difficult. The elevation at the one mile mark is 3,238 feet, which means that you are now 262 feet higher than the Shadow Canyon Trailhead. You will ascend an additional 500 feet over the next mile.
Waypoint 6 – Turn Right at onto the #402 Connector Trail at Trail Junction (N 35.93404° W 115.06850°)
At 1.3 miles from the Shadow Canyon Trailhead you will arrive at a saddle where you will find the junction with the #402 Connector Trail. The #402 Connector Trail connects the Black Mountain #404 Trail with the #403 Park Peak Loop Trail. Turn right onto the #402 Connector Trail heads, which heads south (right) from the Black Mountain #404 Trail.
The #402 Connector Trail will take you down into a broad valley made up of ancient volcanic flows and lead you south towards Park Peak. You will reach the intersection with the #403 Park Peak Trail in just over a half mile.
Waypoint 7 – Intersection with the #403 Park Peak Trail, Continue Straight (South) on the #403 Trail (N 35.927946° W 115.067774°)
At 1.9 miles from the Shadow Canyon Trailhead (and .56 miles since turning onto the #402 Connector Trail), you will reach the intersection with the #403 Park Peak Trail. Continue straight onto the #403 Park Peak Trail and begin the clockwise loop up to Park Peak. From here you will begin the 430 feet ascent to Park Peak.
Waypoint 8 – Passing the Beginning of the Fracture Ridge Trail (N 35.925690° W 115.066106°)
After you reach the top of the first set of switchbacks, you may notice cairns on the left of the trail marking the beginning of the Fracture Ridge Trail. The Fracture Ridge Trail is an unofficial “social trail” that is not maintained by the BLM. It is a difficult primitive trail taking you to the top of Fracture Ridge, which is the peak just south of Black Mountain. This trail should only be used by experienced hikers. Pass the Fracture Ridge Trail and continue south before turning west towards Park Peak.
Waypoint 9 – Park Peak (N 35.924217° W 115.069042°)
The trail to the top of Park Peak ends around 15 yards from the peak. There is usually a small flag marking the peak. You will need to do some scrambling over volcanic boulders to reach the peak. Here you will be rewarded with excellent views of the Las Vegas Valley and the North McCullough Range. You will also find an ammo box with a trail register.
Waypoint 10 – Trail Begins Down Park Peak (N 35.924081° W 115.069319°)
From the top of Park Peak, you will need to scramble down about 15 yards over the volcanic boulders until the #403 Trail begins again. The trail begins on the southwest side of the peak.
Waypoint 11 – Intersection with the #101 Trail to Sloan Canyon (N 35.925595° W 115.074182°)
As you reach the western base of Park Peak, you will see a sign for the #101 Trail to the left. This trail connects the trails in the eastern part of the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area with Sloan Canyon. From here, it’s about 4 miles on the #101 Trail to Sloan Canyon. The #101 Trail is a fairly moderate trail, and can also be reached by trailheads in Anthem Highlands. Pass the #101 Trail on your left and continue on the #403 Trail until finish the clockwise loop and head back towards the Shadow Canyon Trailhead.
Waypoint 12 – Finish the Loop and Head Back Towards the Shadow Canyon Trailhead (N 35.928215° W 115.069621°)
After descending Park Peak and following the trail to the its norther base, you will reach the end of the loop and return back to the Shadow Canyon Trailhead by staying to the left (turning right will take you back up to Park Peak). The trail will take up on a ridge that leads northwest towards the trailhead.
Waypoint 13 – Fork in the Trail (N 35.937034° W 115.078704°)
Shortly before you reach the clearly visible power lines, there is a fork in the trail to the left, which heads toward the Anthem Highlands neighborhood. Take the right (east) fork and continue on the to the power lines ahead (north) of you.
Waypoint 14 – Cross Utility Road (N 35.938207° W 115.078301°)
Once you reach the power lines, you will see a dirt utility road. Cross the utility road onto the dirt trail that will lead on on a set of switchbacks that will take you down to the cinder block structure and the paved path that leads to the Shadow Canyon Trailhead.
The End – The Shadow Canyon Trailhead (N 35.94513° W 115.08158°)
Once you reach the Shadow Canyon Trailhead you have completed the 5.2 mile Park Peak Loop Trail.