Thursday, February 4, 2010

Red & Black Mtns. via Bootleg Canyon - 2/4/10

The weather for today's hike was quite opposite to the previous hike we did only one and a half weeks ago to this same vicinity. It was a gray day for the twenty-two hikers who made their way up 1250 feet of elevation gain in Bootleg Canyon to summit Red Mountain in Boulder City. The climb was steep and created an excellent workout for ham strings and heart/lung strength.

The trail begins at the River Mountain Trail parking lot located in Boulder City. We made a loop hike by continuing over Red Mountain to the saddle between Red and Black, up Black Mountain to take a break at the overlook then back down the traditional route between the two mountains. The hike's total distance was about 6.2 miles.

As we climbed Red Mountain, we could see the zip line platforms above us. There are four segments to the ride. Even though it costs a pretty penny, the zip line excursion looks like a lot of good clean fun. ... What? Screaming can be fun!

Just below the summit of Red Mountain, we were able to get a close up look of the top zip line platform. To the right, you may get an idea of what you might see just before you take off into thin air. In the same area, there is the TV communications station. Also, a small bicycle launch platform. There is still some question why the bicyclists need a launch ramp from the top of this steep mountain trail but there is probably a reason.

Traversing via the saddle to the summit of Black Mountain was compara- tively gentle. We sat on top of the hill where there is a park bench and informative signs and took our break. The views from here were unobstructed for the most part but the skies had not improved much and colors in the landscape were lacking. The chilly wind we felt on top of Red was not in play for Black so we were comfortable to sit for a while.

The group spread out to three parts while descending from the hill. It is a gentle slope utilizing switchbacks near the top. Because of the easy long descent, several people took advantage of the ability to hike at a very fast pace. At the bottom, the first groups rested at the trailhead waiting for the last to arrive.

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