Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ash Canyon Overlook - 03/21/09

Twenty eight club members started out from the Red Rock Sandstone Quarry this morning for a hike to the Ash Canyon Overlook. The hike was only a total of 2.88 miles but held a few fairly steep inclines to make it interesting. Looking back during the morning jaunt, we saw the Escarpment in the morning sunlight as the sun rose over the sandstone hills which were all around us.

The hike began as if going to the Calico Tank but took a turn to the left soon after. Winding around through a small wash, we arrived at a small interesting slot canyon. One by one, we climbed through the small waterfalls inside the slot and continued a little further in the wash. We climbed over some sandstone outcroppings and found a trail on desert terrain.

The trail circled around a sandstone calico hill. Red barrel cacti dotted the landscape. After climbing a hill to the formal Ash Canyon saddle, most of the group continued a little further down a steep swooping grade to find the clearest view of Ash Canyon. Here, we sat for a rest and a snack. The close view of Ash Canyon was beautiful. It is a large, steep canyon full of huge boulders. The distant view was hazy and the Las Vegas skyline disappeared into the horizon.

To begin the return, we had to hike back up the swooping steep trail on loose dirt and rock. We all made it back safely joining the others who had stayed behind. The picture above shows hikers climbing down the hill from the saddle. It was fun finding our way back through the obstacle course of sandstone, gravel wash and the slot canyon. To the right, you see a hiker negotiating one of the small dry waterfalls in the slot. This trail has several small challenges which adds to its charm.

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