Thursday, September 30, 2010

Harris Slot Canyon - 9/30/10

After changing the hike plan for today twice, we settled on Harris Slot Canyon due to a lot of forestry and utility work going on in Kyle Canyon. As they prepare for the winter weather, the communities of Kyle Canyon are expecting a sprinkling of snow this weekend. Therefore, the nineteen hikers that showed up for a hike today, stayed in the lower elevations to explore the caliche canyon which is located near the Harris Springs Road entrance.

The slot canyon is very narrow, however, on the other side of it, the canyon opens wide with caliche walls on each side. A rocky gravel wash lays in the middle of the canyon with mesquite, creosote, ephedra, rabbitbrush and a few joshua trees covering the rest of the area between the walls. We enjoyed the walk through the slot then embarked on three miles up the rocky wash as it became more and more narrow. In one section of the wash, we were hiking in a trough and had to climb out of the trough by negotiating the loose dirt and gravel on the bank.

Our destination at the end of the three miles was an old auto graveyard. At one point in history, perhaps the 1960's, several cars had been rolled over the cliff above. They landed on the hillside and have since filled with dirt and rusted through. It is interesting to see the old relics. (I think I saw my Mom's old station wagon!) Also in the junk pile were old appliances and a cement mixer. It was a museum of sorts!

We sat for a snack among deer skeletons and an old Ford tailgate then prepared for the return hike over the same terrain. The hiking was difficult on the rocks. Balance and concentration were key at the speed we were going. We all agreed that the hike this morning was an excellent workout even though there was minimal elevation gain or loss over the six miles we covered.

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