Saturday, March 5, 2011
Grapevine Spring - 3/5/11
Sixteen members of the Around the Bend Friends hiked an easy to moderate five miles in the Cottonwood Valley section of Red Rock Canyon NCA to Lone Grapevine Spring and Mud Spring II located near the base of Windy Peak of the escarpment. Our first stop was at Grapevine Spring where the spring is surrounded by a wooden and barbed wire fence. The desert foliage was lush and the rocks in the area were a dark colored composite type rock which lent more color to the green yuccas, chollas and white bursage. Strangely enough, there were no creosote bushes in this area.
We hiked past the base of Windy Peak above and found a large metal trough of water that flowed down from Mud Spring II. The clear water feeds the thirst of wild animals such as burros, big horn sheep, coyotes, foxes and mountain lions and of domesticated horses used for recreation in this area. To get to the spring, we climbed uphill and found that it, also, was surrounded by fencing. We began seeing petroglyphs in this area and, as we walked a little further, we saw more and more of the ancient carvings on the desert varnished boulders lying on the desert floor.
We ate our snack and summoned the energy to return to our cars by hiking through the desert on trails used mainly by mountain bikers. It was a beautiful day with sunshine to warm us through the light cool wind. Our morning views were of a snow dusted Mt. Potosi and the escarpment of Red Rock. The Calico Hills were there in the distance. We returned to the parking lot after a nice three hours of hiking.