Thursday, August 4, 2011

Raintree via Trail Canyon - 8/4/11

Nine hikers came out for another hike up Trail Canyon this morning, heading for Raintree using the North Loop Trail beginning at the saddle junction. The morning began pleasantly cool but as the next 4.5 hours wore on, the strong breeze was not enough to cool down the warm sun. There were many different flowers showing their stuff on the slopes.

The hike up Trail Canyon is a steep difficult climb and most of the hikers, today, took its challenge seriously by setting a quick and steady pace. After reaching the saddle where Trail Canyon meets the North Loop, the hike leads straight over the hill and levels out for a long enough distance to allow the hiker to "rest" for a few minutes. In the photo to the left, the writer didn't realize until processing that she captured a member of her group up ahead!

Views from this portion of the hike are fantastic. To the right and down, there is the deep ravine of Fletcher Canyon. To the left and up, there are the tall steep cliffs of Mummy Mountain. As one hikes around the base of Mummy, Fletcher Peak is also in view ahead to the right. The cliffs to the left are covered with a suggestion of hanging gardens. Nearing Raintree, the bristlecones appear in full force. When the hiker peers behind him or her, Mt. Charleston Peak, Cockscomb Peak, and Griffith Peak rise out of Kyle Canyon which lies beyond Cockscomb Ridge. The final mile resumes a steep climb ending at Raintree where all nine hikers took their break (as seen in the first photo.)

Conver- sation at the tree included a large amount of stories about the recent Ely Excursion. (Hopefully, the entry on Ely will be added to in the near future.) Eventually, we gathered ourselves together and began the descent. Everyone made the return trip at their own pace and only regrouped once at the saddle junction. The hike was a very pleasant way to spend the morning.

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