Thursday, October 29, 2009
Cave Canyon - 10/29/09
Seven hikers braved the morning cold wind and nasty weather forecast and showed up for the Cave Canyon hike. As it turned out, the canyons we conquered shielded us from the wind and the cold and we were very comfortable for 80% of the hike. During the other 20%, we were out in the open, unprotected from the elements.
The hike begins at the horse stables located across the highway from the Red Rock scenic loop. We hiked up past the stables on the right and dropped down into the canyon. Bearing to the left, we began hiking a beautiful canyon filled with a lot of fun scrambling. Soon, we came upon one of the caves that gave this canyon its name.
After exploring this cave for a few minutes, we returned to the trail. We turned left again when we were nearing the top, to an arm of the canyon that came to a stop at a twenty foot dry waterfall that can only be negotiated by climbing up the rock in one of 4 directions.
We each chose our fate and scrambled up. At the top, we soon came to a bike trail and turned left yet again. The trail led us around the rim of the canyon then turned to the right and headed straight up the hill past a small communications station complete with solar panels. The views of Red Rock Canyon and the escarpment were exquisite, full of color.
When we arrived at the top of the hill, we were rewarded with this amazingly clear view of the city. You could see all the way to Arizona including Lake Mead. The wind that we have had for the past 3 days has presented us with this gift.
Along the way, we found that the red barrels were bright red from a recent rain. We also found many fossils of shells and other sea creatures in the rock bed of the canyon.
We took our break at the overlook then proceeded around the rim of the hill towards the Muffins. Upon reaching the old Las Vegas overlook, we turned inward and found the trail that leads down through Skull Canyon. It was a quick trip down through this equally beautiful canyon then out past the other horse stables and back to the car. The complete hike was 6.6 miles with 1200 feet of elevation gain.