Saturday, November 27, 2010

Arnight Knoll Loop (also, Grapevine Springs) - 11/27/10

Eleven hikers gathered for the 8:30am hike on the Arnight Knoll Loop. The hike to Grapevine Springs had approxi- mately fifteen participants for the 8am hike. Although both hikes lead along the base of the Red Rock escarpment, the Grapevine Springs are located on the southern end in Cottonwood Valley and the Arnight Knoll Loop begins out of the Oak Creek Trailhead parking lot which is at mile marker 12 on the Red Rock Scenic Loop.

We hiked out the Arnight Trail through the desert. The washes we crossed were decorated with different colored small boulders. The backlighting of the sun made the forest of cholla appear like a morning dream. The temperature was quite cold but the mix of sun and no wind had us shedding layers of clothing within about thirty minutes into the hike.

Picking up a spur trail to the left which headed straight into the mouth of Juniper Canyon, we cut off a small portion of the traditional route for the hike as seen on the map below.

We quickly picked up the Knoll Trail and began our trek back across the desert but, this time, closer to the base of the escarpment. After our break among the boulders, we continued to the Oak Creek Trail. Here, we made a decision to continue across and dip down to the Oak Creek area adding an extra loopty-loo exploration to the traditional route. We found our way back up to Oak Creek Trail and continued back to the parking lot for a 3.25 mile hike.

Above, you see today's hike indicated by the blue line and the traditional route of the Arnight Knoll Loop hike indicated by the red line.

This is one route for the Grapevine Springs hike which may or may not have been used for today's hike.

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