Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wild Horse Loop - 7/4/09

On this July 4th holiday, twenty- seven hikers came together to hike the Wild Horse Loop, a 3.5 mile journey with around 900 feet in elevation gain. The weather was beautiful and not too hot. The Spring Mtn. Recreation Area was filling with people fast and we got the last parking places available to begin the hike at the North Loop trailhead. We always try to reduce the numbers of cars in the parking areas by carpooling from a central location.

We hiked up from the trailhead to the meadow where we found wildflowers of every color scattered throughout the old growth of bristlecones. As 27 hikers tend to do, we arrived at the top at different times. We stayed there until the last hikers arrived; eating our snacks and talking while we waited.

The meadow offered views of the desert below in one direction, the northern part of the Las Vegas valley in another and Mummy's Chin above. Some people decided to take the opportunity to relax as far as they could go. This is the life!

This view of the desert in the distance is the area where the government tested the first nuclear bombs. Back then, people actually came out with a picnic lunch to view the amazing attraction. I just wonder how many of those people survived to see the turn of the century. Just a thought!

After our rest, we began the hike down to finish the loop. We hiked out along the side of the hill and then split into two groups. Eleven of us chose to hike the Wild Horse Ridge and the other sixteen went down through Wild Horse Canyon, a picturesque walk accented with a marshy spring and a small limestone canyon.

The hike along the ridge was equally interesting. We descended to the rock ridge outcropping above the Deer Creek picnic area. The views covered about 250 degrees of direction. Looking back, there was a great up-close view of almost the entire Mummy Mtn.

We dropped off the ridge where the fire fighters had thinned out much of the woody growth and headed up the road to the cars. The group who had made their way slowly down through Wild Horse Canyon arrived about 10 minutes later. (Their delay was due to a reported barbeque party with bingo and raffles in the middle of their descent!) ... Just kidding.

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