Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pinto Valley Wash - 1/31/09

Pinto Valley Wash is located at mile marker 18 on Lakeshore Drive at Lake Mead.The wash is where there used to be a road which travelled from Las Vegas into Utah and on to Salt Lake City back in the 1920's and 1930's. Although the hike today did not reach any part of the pavement of old, there are still parts of the road where the asphalt still lies.

Twenty-one hikers hiked into the wash and travelled 2.5 miles up. To the left, you can see that there is a dry waterfall at a place called Cottonwood Springs due to the cottonwood trees in the area. Most of the 21 hikers took on the challenge of climbing up the falls.

In several places along the wash, there were walls of red rock with many "spider veins" of gypsum and copper. Pinto Valley Wash and its surrounding landscape was very colorful with reds, yellows, greens and whites.

We stopped to take a rest and prepare for the trip back at a wide part of the wash where there was a beautiful veined wall and a post in the ground. (Perhaps some sort of mile marker.) There was also a hole dug by modern equipment which assumably was there to catch water for wildlife in the area. One animal needed this new waterhole many many years ago as we found his/her dried bones lying about.

Also, in the dead animal department, we found this crumpled tarantula on a rock ledge. Sad, but life goes on, doesn't it? We returned down the 15 foot dry waterfall all together having bunches of fun as the women all used their derriere for this maneuver. (Also called butt-sliding.) Five miles after beginning our hike, we had only climbed then descended around 300 to 400 feet. (Just a guess.)

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