Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cave Canyon / Fossil Ridge - 4/4/11

The hike up Cave Canyon on Monday had sixteen hikers partici- pating. We began at the Cowboy Trails parking area on Highway 159 across from the scenic loop area of Red Rock Canyon NCA. The weather was a little nippy, however, a little bit of scrambling fun warmed us up quickly. The photo to the left shows the entrance to Cave Canyon.

The hike into the canyon requires a steep climb while hugging the right wall. In the middle of the mouth of the canyon are very large boulders strewn about like giant children's building blocks. We all scrambled up a fourteen foot dry waterfall made easier by a build-up of large rocks below the first step. Then we made our way to the second cave up the hill on the left.

Chris oversees the climb up the fourteen foot waterfall.

The entrance to the second cave. Inside the cave was very warm and after crawling through the entrance, you could stand inside only slightly bent over.

Continuing up the canyon for around two miles, we were struck by how green the canyon appeared. Flowers had yet to bloom but the grass and shrubs painted the brown /black canyon with many shades and textures of green. The only wildlife we saw (besides the rabbit seen crossing the road as we arrived at the trailhead) were some very large sized chuckers waddling up the wall of the canyon.

Near the top, we took the left fork and ended at one more large dry waterfall with several options to climb. We took a break here then continued up a little farther to meet the bike trail that travels around the top of the Blue Diamond Hills. The hard part was over so we settled into a nice hike down the upper Fossil Ridge Trail with views of the Escarpment and the Calico Hills across the way. A beautiful hike on a beautiful day logged in six miles with an elevation gain of 1000 feet.

Trail and view of the Red Rock Canyon NCA Escarpment.

Trail and view of the Red Rock Canyon NCA Calico Hills.

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