Twelve hikers showed up for the familiar Cave Canyon hike with an added twist of a spin around the loop at the base of the gypsum mining operation on the south side of the North Blue Diamond Ridges. We parked at the Cowboy Trails parking and headed into the canyon after passing by the horses that were being saddled up for their day's work. The caves found in Cave Canyon are of decent size and three of the hikers decided to take a couple of minutes to explore one of them. Shortly after this small excursion, we heard several loud booms that we surmised were dynamite explosions coming from the nearby mine. Needless to say, we were glad no one was inside the cave at the time!
Mummy Mountain peeks out from Spring Mountain Range.
There is some scrambling that is necessary inside Cave Canyon. One of the largest dry waterfalls is pictured in the third photo. The other large fall is at the end of the canyon's left fork as seen to the left. Soon after we climbed out of the canyon, we hit the high point of the day. Here, we had climbed 1100 elevation feet in 2.5 miles. The scrambling was finished and the rest of the 8 mile hike would be on trail.
Panorama from top of Cave Canyon.
We made our way, in a curvy fashion, over to the old dirt road at the top of Echo Canyon. Crossing the road, we began hiking a trail that is rarely hiked as it leads down to the base of the largest of the tailing piles from the mine. Although the pile of leftover dirt and boulders is not very scenic (see left photo), the trail does pass by some very healthy large cacti and joshua trees. The red barrel cacti are huge and there are many clumps of hedgehog cacti as well. We saw a large jack rabbit run from our path as we stared in amazement.
Boulders at base of Tailings Pile.
Escarpment from Tailings Pile Canyon.
This trail led us back over to the top of Echo Canyon and we hiked down to the Fossil Ridge Trail from there. Taking the Fossil Ridge Trail all the way back to the cars, we passed a group of trail riders on horseback. One horse seemed to not really want to be there but we guessed he would speed up once he started heading back in the direction of the stables! Today's hike was a joy and it was nice to have Chris back in LV.