Saturday, November 28, 2009

Arnight - Knoll Loop - 11/28/09

Twenty-nine club members hiked the Arnight - Knoll Loop Trail today which starts at the parking area for the Oak Creek Trail located just past mile marker 12 of the 13-mile Red Rock Scenic Loop Road. It is a desert hike at the foothills of the Escarpment just under Rainbow Peak and crosses the wash which comes out of Juniper Canyon. Also in view, in the distance, during the last half of the hike is Potato Knoll.

The 3-mile desert hike is a relatively easy trail, however, the path is filled with rocks which have to be negotiated. It is a good hike for hip muscles as the hiker is constantly swerving this way or that way to keep their balance among the rocks.

The trail is decorated with an abundance of chollas, yuccas, sandstone boulders and several juniper trees here and there. The juniper trees are covered with their blue berries and they add to the desert's color.

As the trail headed into Red Rock Canyon, there were beautiful views of the Calico Hills, Turtlehead Peak and the La Madre Mountain Range. Dark clouds hovered above the view and were heading our way. The air was crisp and the forecast included a few showers for the afternoon.

Juniper Canyon is seen in the distance to the right.

During our break, we saw three burros grazing about a quarter of a mile away towards the scenic loop.

After reaching a junction, we turned left to head back toward Potato Knoll as you can see in the distance in the picture to the left. This is the part of the trail which crosses the Juniper Canyon wash. As we hiked by the entrance to the canyon, we heard voices of rock climbers having their fun on the side of the rock walls above. Juniper Canyon is one of the popular locations for the many rock climbers based in Las Vegas.

We could see the parking area and our cars long before we reached them. The final part of the loop hike started with a left turn onto Oak Creek Trail. With Oak Creek Canyon behind us, we headed out on the trail passing many cairns that had been erected recently. The Arnight - Knoll Loop Trail is a nice trail that can be done in as little as 2 hours.

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