Saturday, December 5, 2009

Badger Pass & Bird Spring Range - 12/05/09

Okay. (You must do this without a calculator.) You meet with a group of 29 hikers and on your way out to Cottonwood Valley, you pick up 8 more hikers from the nearby AFB. You hike with the whole group on the Badger Pass Trail until you reach Badger Pass, then 17 hikers of the group split off to return to the cars via the Dead Horse Loop. The remaining group of hikers begin a climb up to the top of the Bird Spring Range. What's the name of the hike leader? ... Oh, you've heard this one.

Today's hike was a very chilly one that began with the temp- eratures in the low 40's. The climb to Badger Pass went quickly. After the two groups separated, the group of hikers that explored the Bird Spring Range were rewarded with seeing many fossils in the darker rock found on top of the ridge. The total climb was around 1000 feet in elevation gain.

On top of the range, we saw a nice view of the Las Vegas Strip in one direction, Mt. Potosi in another direction, the Red Rock Canyon escarpment and the small town of Good Springs in other directions. The cloud cover made all the views somewhat hazy. However, the sun did finally come out by the last 2 miles of the 7 mile hike.

Along the rugged, steep cliffs of the ridge, we revisited the wrecked car that someone shoved off the edge a couple of years ago. In the right side of the picture to the right, you will find the car between rocks. The car is now burned and completely demolished unlike how we found it two years ago.

After viewing the car and having a quick windy break, we climbed one more summit on the range then turned right for a long descent to the valley. This section of the hike was the coldest and windiest. It is safe to say that there were more than a few hikers who felt somewhat miserable. But, I think it is also probably safe to say that most of them would not have wanted to be anywhere else.

Reaching the valley, we turned right again and began our return on the Dead Horse Loop Trail about a mile and a half further south than where the first group of hikers entered the trail. This is a fairly flat trail with beautiful views which leads the hiker through the boundary of the 2005 fire which burned much of the vegetation that we saw today.

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