Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cathedral Rock - 6/6/09

There were twenty-eight hikers at the Cathedral Rock trailhead this morning waiting to begin the hike up to the top of the rock where the views were sure to please. The weather was a very cool 45 degrees and the rain clouds ominously hovered while shedding a few sprinkles on the car as we travelled into the Spring Mountains. We were cautiously optimistic that the rain would not climb into Kyle Canyon while we were hiking on the three mile up and back hike that ascended 1000 feet in elevation. Optimism won out and the sun warmed us off and on throughout the hike.

After hiking through the halls of aspen trees which are growing quite well five years after the big avalanche of 2004 (I think), we came to a short trail leading off to the left. Several hikers took the trail to see a nice waterfall with a decent amount of water falling in two segments. Word had it that the waterfall had even more water one short week ago but today, it was still a beautiful sight. After climbing up to the bottom of the first segment of falls, the hiker could see that there was not a pool between the falls. The water fell onto small rocks and travelled ten feet to the brink of the second segment. The picture below shows the upper falls.

Blue lupin grew along the trail and were in full bloom. There were also a few Indian Paintbrush plants in bloom as well. Also in the area of the Spring Mountains, the globemallow is blooming but the cliffrose is past its prime.

In the upper regions of the trail, there was a clear view of the snow still left on the slopes above. This is a picture of the beginning of the avalanche path. The snow came crashing down from the top, barrelling over all the aspen trees below. All the way down the mountain, there remained a mess of broken trees and landscape trash when this blogger first came upon the Mt. Charleston scene. Now, the trees appear as a carpet of bright green below this viewpoint.

When we arrived at the top of Cathedral Rock, we rested while taking in the views of Mt. Charleston summit to the left and the mouth of Kyle Canyon to the right. Below us, we could see our cars in the parking lot and the communities of Rainbow and Mt. Charleston. At this point, the clouds had moved away from our area and the sun provided a crystal clear view.

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