Saturday, April 24, 2010

Calico I to Sandstone Quarry & Return - 4/24/10

Forty- two hikers arrived at the Calico I parking area on the Red Rock Scenic Loop for a hike to Sandstone Quarry and back, 3.8 miles. Five of the forty-two hikers opted to park at the Visitor's Center so that a drive around the loop would not be required at the end of the hike. The hike from there to Calico I added about 1 mile to the total hike. From Calico I, we headed down into the red sandstone canyon.

The hike up to Sandstone Quarry was beautiful as we explored the red sandstone overlooks. There were ups and downs and everyone was in good spirits. The weather was perfect as evidenced by the huge number of people and cars which filled the park even at the early hour. We arrived at Sandstone Quarry and took our break in the shade of the towering red and white sandstone wall to the right of the parking lot. After the break, forty hikers returned to their cars the way they came; two hikers continued and completed the Grand Circle Trail.

The two hikers that completed the Grand Circle found flowers to photograph at every turn. Some yuccas were blooming. There were many very small flowers of lavender, red-violet, and yellow. We found the Mormon Tea blooming yellow. There were purple multi-flowers, white flowers made of many separate blooms, and the rhubarb was in full reddish-pink bloom. Even the orange globemallow was beginning to show.

We hiked the trail up to the White Rock Springs parking area, took a break, then began the second half of the hike which lead downhill, with the exception of one nasty uphill, back to the Visitor's Center. On our way, we stopped by the White Rock Spring, noted the huge number of cars parked at the Ice Box Canyon trailhead, and passed a few hikers going the opposite way who had gotten a late start for the 11.5 mile loop hike. We finished the hike 5.5 hours after we began.

Trail from Calico I to Sandstone Quarry.

Complete Grand Circle Trail.

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