Mustang Ranch

And Bear Island

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Trek dates, 2015: Mar 20 & Apr 24

“Mustang Ranch” and “Bear Islands”

TWO SMALL FORMATIONS, sit on the desert floor about 600 yards from Keys Corner parking lot, and seemingly nondescript to a casual hiker who lacks knowledge of the rock climber’s colorful classification for these smooth, undulating lumps of White Tank monzogranite rock. Each has distinctive traits and color.

Quoth the raven, nevermore


Your legs take you from one to the next, sometimes revealing little secrets few people know about because they aren’t observing.


Mustang Ranch is the first rock group you will encounter past the truly nondescript Chile Pile, and is a few yards west of the Boy Scout Trail. It comprises two north-south trending vertical fin-like formations with a corridor between, jutting straight out of the desert floor.


Mustang Ranch, east face

Mustang Ranch, east face

← Listed climbs include, “Blue Velvet,” “Whips and Grains,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Brotherly Love,” and “Padded Handcuffs,” many of them on this wall that gets morning sun and shade the rest of the day. (Note three fresh blooms on the Joshua Tree, photo taken Mar 20.)

For those who are unfamiliar with the story, The Mustang Ranch, originally known as the Mustang Bridge Ranch, is a brothel in Storey County, Nevada, about 15 miles east of Reno.

Mustang Ranch, west face

According to the always dependable Wikipedia (except when it can’t be trusted), the Mustang Ranch became Nevada’s first licensed brothel in 1971, eventually leading to the legalization of brothel prostitution in 10 of 17 counties in the state. Hence, the suggestive names applied to the climbing routes. Rock climbers are so resourceful!

It takes only a few minutes to hike through the piles, while enjoying splendid vistas in all directions, including the formidable rocky hillside a few hundred yards to the East that is home to Gilligan’s Island, Ellsmere Island, Hidden Dome, Outward Bound Slab, Keys Point, and other interesting features. Highly recommended for those who enjoy straying away from the herd; and a 3D photographer’s delight.


  • Use glasses to view 3D Anaglyphs
  • Click to Enlarge Photos

Mustang Ranch Seen from the Boy Scout Trail ♦ 3D Anaglyphs

(Click images to enlarge. 1080p resolution. Or Windows users, right-click and choose SAVE LINK AS).

Mustang Ranch Approach from Brownie Girl Dome  ♦ 3D Anaglyphs

Mustang Ranch ♦ 3D Half Side-by-Sides

(Suitable for 3D TV viewing. Half Side-by-Sides avoid the minor Anaglyph anomalies that can occur.)


Bear Island ♦ 3D Anaglyphs




Bear Island ♦ 3D Half Side-by-Sides


Thank you for visiting. I do hope you enjoyed Mustang Ranch and Bear Island — I can barely contain myself. Who  invents these absurd names?



Posted 2015 May 6

Updated 2017 Nov 8

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