Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cathedral to Mt. Charleston Hotel - 9/19/09

The hike for today began at the Cathedral Rock Trailhead parking lot. Twenty-nine hikers began by climbing the hill just up from the actual trailhead to a small trail that led to the Cathedral Rock Picnic Area. It was a cool morning which made the hike very pleasant.

We hiked through the picnic area to site #47 where we stopped for a moment to admire a hut someone had built with sticks and logs. Then we continued our hike through the site and ended up on a portion of the Rainbow Loop Trail. Here, we headed downhill with a nice view of Mummy's Toe across the canyon. The hike travelled through the lower part of the Rainbow community and went into the first of two campgrounds.

All around us, there were blooming rabbitbrush and aspens with leaves changing to bright yellow. Fall is in the air ... if not in the valley temperatures which are still hanging around at the one hundred degree mark. But, the Spring Mtns. are dipping below fifty degrees every night now and the leaves are responding.

After passing through the first camp- ground, we hiked past the Visitor's Center where we took a small break. Then we took a trail behind the Visitor's Center that led to the parking lot for Fletcher Canyon. We hiked through the second campground then stepped into the main Kyle Canyon wash and continued down the mountain. By the way, there was no water in the wash ...!

At the end of the wash section of the hike, we took another small break. One hiker spotted bones lying in the brush nearby. It appeared that a small deer had had an invitation to dinner that it could not refuse. Perhaps the recent invitation was offered by a mountain lion.

After the break, we began the old golf course portion of the hike. We found ourselves hiking on a cart path of the course which had been in existence a short 5 or 6 years ago. The steps to the left probably led to the next tee or something. Rabbitbrush had grown up all over the fairways and it took a large imagination to see anything that resembled a fairway, bunker or tee; much less to imagine golfers swinging their clubs.

The one way hike was a total of five miles which was virtually all downhill losing around 1000 feet of elevation. When we reached the hotel, it was sprinkling a little rain which didn't last too long. Drivers of carpool cars were shuttled up to the Cathedral Rock parking lot to retrieve their cars and head back downhill to pick up their riders.

The GPS waypoint map show the trail we took from the left to the right. The lighter areas show where the satellite authorities are updating the images.

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