Saturday, July 3, 2010
Wild Horse Canyon - 7/3/10
Today's hike through Wild Horse Canyon was attended by twenty- three hikers. The Cathedral Fire above the Rainbow community in Kyle Canyon is nearly contained and all the roads are again open. There were many cars at the North Loop trailhead and even the secondary parking lot was full after we got there. This was evidence that perhaps the Kyle Canyon trails were still closed to day hikers and many people decided to hike at the North Loop or up in Lee Canyon. Although we could not see the Cathedral Fire area from our trail, we did see the staging area for the firefighters and where the helicopters were landing as we drove by. Hikes which are scheduled for the club in the near future should give us a clear view of what has been burned.
We hiked up the North Loop Trail among the blooming blue lupine huffing and puffing up 1000 feet in elevation over a distance of 1.3 miles. The high altitude is always a good test for the lungs and heart! At the top, we took a break and snacked in the large meadow area which was blooming with purple, white, yellow and red flowers. From here, we could see a half moon hanging over Mummy Mountain on one side and the Nevada Test Site in the distance on the other side.
After taking our break, we began our descent by passing the large old bristlecone at the end of the meadow and beginning a hike down a very small woodsy path. This is the area where the wild horse lived at one time. Is he still here? We don't know. But his trail remains and soon begins winding down a very steep grade. Our progress was leisurely today and conversation could be heard from one end of the line to the other.
We passed through the springs area where lavender columbine flowers with leafy plants filled the hillside. Eventually, we exited the canyon by hiking through a small slot canyon and out onto the highway. We had to walk along the highway for about a quarter mile to get back to our cars. The total distance of this loop hike was around 3.5 miles.