Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rainbow Loop - 5/27/10

This tame yet somewhat challenging loop hike of 5.65 miles was attended by seventeen hikers this morning. The elevation gain for the hike is 1170 feet which is mostly attained in the third mile of the hike. Rainbow Loop begins at the parking area just before the Kyle Canyon Visitor's Center. It then leads through campgrounds and along the roadside wash until just past the small community of Rainbow, Nevada.

The hike begins its climb here and reaches the South Loop Trail after passing a rather elaborate lean-to built into the trees where young hearts enjoy evenings. After following the South Loop for a short distance, the hike turns off to the left to begin crossing above Rainbow. At the summit of the hike, there is a beautiful view of Mt. Charleston. Today, as we reached this point, the 12,000 foot mountain escaped from the clouds and showed off its coat of white snow. See the last photo where Photoshop has been applied to enhance the watercolor view.

There was a lot of residual snow in these upper elevations of the trail. Perhaps we changed our planned hikes from Red Rock to Mt. Charleston a little too soon. However, it is beautiful and the air is fresh. Who knew that winter would just keep coming? Below, we could see the Mt. Charleston community located further up Kyle Canyon as we took our break.

The hike took its only right turn here onto a small trail which was difficult to follow due to the snow patches and fallen trees. We found our way and entered into the quaint Rainbow community where some lucky people have summer and year round homes. At the bottom of the hill, we turned back onto the approach trail and returned to our cars.

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