Mountain’s Edge records valley’s past

The Mountain’s Edge master-planned community in the southwest valley recently completed the installation of four commemorative plaques located at the top of the community’s 3,500-acre Exploration Peak.

The plaques detail local history, from the formation of Red Rock Canyon and the Sunrise Mountains, to the arrival of railroads and the Old Spanish Trail that brought the first settlers to the Las Vegas Valley.

Exploration Peak is the city’s first mountain park, with trails constructed that lead up to the top of 2,846-foot Exploration Peak. The series of hiking trails were designed for people of all ages, and include ramadas at two different stages. Exploration Peak is part of Exploration Park, which measures 80 acres and is the first of several parks planned for the community located at Blue Diamond Road and Buffalo Drive.

"Exploration Peak and Exploration Park are welcomed amenities for the residents of Mountain’s Edge," said Deonna Stocker, manager of information center operations at the community’s Home Search Café. "The plaques atop Exploration Peak not only provide residents a fun educational amenity, but also an opportunity to learn about the history of the valley and its early settlers from the peak."

The plaques are located at four different points of a paved patio with views of the Las Vegas Valley. A plaque located at the eastern point of the patio directs visitors to the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, which ran five miles east of Mountain’s Edge. Prior to the railroad’s completion in 1905, the relatively isolated Las Vegas Valley was crossed by pack animals and wagon teams traveling arduous and dusty miles over the Old Spanish Trail between Utah and California. This railroad became one of the last major railroad routes to be constructed in the American West.

An additional plaque points out Frenchman Mountain, more widely known as Sunrise Mountain, the dominating peak that defines the eastern edge of the valley.

The mountain was named after an unsuccessful and notorious scam operation referred to as the Frenchman Mine scheme, where the mine was salted with gold ore and shares of stock were sold based on fraudulent information.

The oldest rock exposed anywhere on this continent can be seen at Frenchman Mountain, known as 1.7 billion-year-old Vishnu Schist.

Meanwhile, hikers interested in learning more about Red Rock Canyon will find a plaque that offers insights about the formation of the canyon.

"Providing opportunities for residents and visitors of all ages to learn about the impressive geological and pioneer history of the region is an important priority of Mountain’s Edge," Stocker said. "These efforts extend from the top of the mountain to the base of Exploration Peak, where a Western Theme Park inspired by the Old West was built at a child’s perspective to help connect them to the region’s history."

Exploration Park’s Western Theme Park blends the natural elements of community’s geography and history. Focus Property Group, master planner of Mountain’s Edge, looked to create an Old West Village that challenged the imaginative young minds of children. Dirt streets line the town square capturing the Main Street appearance and sense of the Old West.

The streets of the town square lead to a multitude of play areas including an area featuring a covered wagon play structure, a web tee-pee climber and a replica water tower splash park.

To visit the development’s Home Search Café, located at the community’s entrance on Buffalo Drive and Blue Diamond Road, or visit The Café is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and can be reached at 898-5777.

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