Saturday, November 21, 2009

Calico Hills - 11/21/09

There were thirty-five hikers on the 4.5 mile tour of the Calico Hills today. The hike included parts of the Calico I Trail, the Moenkopi Loop Trail, and the Calico II Trail. We also touched on the Grand Circle Trail and the Red Springs Loop Trail. The hiking that the trails at the base of the Calico Hills provides is colorful and interesting.

It is easy to lose yourself in the sandstone even though you never leave sight of the Red Rock Scenic Loop. We began at the new Red Rock Visitor's Center and soon crossed the loop road to climb to the first parking area which is called Calico I. After hiking down from the parking lot to the sandstone, we began hiking at the base of the sandstone up towards the second parking area called Calico II.

This portion of the hike was the most beautiful as we got an up-close and personal examination of the red and white sandstone hills. Just before we reached Calico II, we climbed down into the wash, found a good rock seat and took our break. We were sitting amidst a part of the Red Springs Loop Trail where there is a maze of canyons, slots and scrambling.

From there, we crossed the wash and headed back the way we came using the trail closer to the loop road. We climbed back up to the Calico I parking area then crossed the loop road and used the Calico I and Moenkopi Trails to return to the Visitor's Center. The route we took may seem a little vague, however, there are many trails in this area that are available to take. The weather could not have been better and there was a small breeze that came and went.

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