Thursday, January 14, 2010

North Bowl of Fire - 1/14/09

Nineteen hikers set out this morning to hike into the North Bowl of Fire from Northshore Rd. at Lake Mead. We parked at the parking lot near mile marker 20 and set off up the hill lead by Chuck and Joan. The wind became a factor immediately as we hiked along the ridge. We were losing hats and struggling to stay upright.

The views from this ridge were gorgeous looking toward Lake Mead and Northshore Peak. Already, the colors of the earth nearing the red rock were apparent. Dropping off of the windy ridge, we were lead down into a wash where we were somewhat protected.

We turned left onto a short section of Calville Road, a 4wd dirt road. Then turning right, we climbed another smaller wash and ended up at the entrance to the red rock. We crossed the desert, filled with crypto-biotic earth, in single file so as to not destroy what Mother Nature had created. Next came a stretch of pebble covered desert seen to the left.

Another wash took us to the entrance to a huge red rock canyon. It was here that the scrambling began. There were rabbitholes to conquer, rock formations to name, and canyons to explore. Seen to the left are the "kissing aliens." The blogger thought it looked more like a dog swallowing a duck's bill....

Here, to the left, is the skeleton hand and fingers. We enjoyed all of this and kept hiking past the Snow White figurine and up to Raven's Balcony. Everywhere you turned, there was red rock towering above and around. It was filled with interesting holes, arches and tunnels.

When we reached Raven's Balcony, we were presented with the views above and below. We were very high. The view below shows the wash that we hiked to get to the red rock canyon. We finally sat here for a snack, after 5.5 miles. Although few of us expected the hike to be longer than 6-7 miles, the hike ended up to be a good 8 miles.

Our climb down and out of the red rock bowl, was relatively quick. The group began to spread out but the path was clear as we were, again, in a wash. The wash was filled with water carved rock and a treacherous dry waterfall.

We made our way around the waterfall by going down this steep but doable slide, continued down the wash, then regrouped at the end of the narrow wash and the beginning of a much wider wash. Our time in the North Bowl of Fire was finished and we had a good 2.5 miles left to get back to our cars.

After separating into two groups, a fast one and the rest of us, the groups made their way back to the highway in different ways. The fast group hiked over the desert as the crow flies. The other group hiked out the wide wash. From the end of the wash, at Calville Road, the group hiked as the crow flies, straight to the cars at mile marker 18. From there, a couple of shuttle trips got us all back into our cars and headed home.

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