Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bootleg Canyon to Mother Loop - 2/14/12

                                Las Vegas, Nevada skyline.

                                Colors of the River Mountains.

 It was a simple number five today. As most of the regular Tuesday hikers were warned away by the ugly morning weather, only five hikers arrived at the appointed meeting places determined to believe that the worst weather was over and the day would be a pleasant one. Fortunately, they were pleased to be right and managed to pull off an interesting six mile hike even without the assigned coordinator. We had not attempted this particular route before so the morning was filled with, "Well, let's go there and see where it takes us!"

                                Lava Butte

 We parked at the Bootleg Canyon parking (at the base of the zip line) and began hiking into the River Mountains on the Bootleg Canyon Trail. In short time, we veered off the trail to the left and straight up. We scrambled to a ridge, then another ridge, then one more ridge. The terrain was tough but there was a feint game trail to follow. Finally, reaching the last ridge, we found what we were looking for ... a trail ... ANY trail! From this spot, we could see the city. It was a clear day below the clouds and the shadows made the scene quite beautiful as seen in the first photo.

                                Hikers in silhouette.

 We hiked along the ridge trail climbing to the top of each small peak we came to. The trail started small but got bigger as we neared the Mother Loop. We still didn't really know exactly where we were but we had a good idea. We were just very happy that we had a trail to follow and it was going in the right direction.

Eventually, we came to an intersection where a large formidable trail crossed. Could this be the Mother Loop? Perhaps. We turned left.

                                Another peak.

 None of us had been on the Mother Loop more than once or twice but it became more and more familiar to us as we hiked along. Soon, it became very clear to us that we had chosen correctly as we saw the golf course below us and the beautiful colors of the mountainside above us. We hiked the remaining 2.5 miles of relatively flat terrain quickly, returning to the cars without having taken a formal break.

Time to go home to our sweethearts and celebrate Valentine's Day!

                                Mother Loop colors.

                                Last mile of the Mother Loop.

     Location of today's hike in comparison with the complete Mother Loop hike.

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