Saturday, April 7, 2012

Calico I / Moenkopi Loop - 4/7/12

                             Calico I Overlook

 Today's second hike was an easy 3.3 mile loop beginning at the Red Rock Canyon NCA Visitor's Center. There were twenty hikers participating in the leisurely stroll. The weather was gorgeous and the surrounding views from the canyon floor were colorful and expansive.

 We parked on the lowest level of the Visitor's Center parking lot and headed toward the Red Rock fee booth on the provided trail. Then, we crossed the road, noted the trail sign and began hiking on the Grand Circle Trail towards the Calico I Overlook which can also be reached by driving the scenic loop road.

                                Calico Hills from the Grand Circle Trail

At the Calico I Overlook, most of the hikers took a small jaunt down the trail to the sandstone rocks below. The Calico Hills never disappoint.

                The Red Rock Canyon escarpment from the Moenkopi Loop.

 We returned to the top of the overlook and crossed the road where a trail leads to the Moenkopi Loop, a small loop that includes the Moenkopi Limestone (or ancient seabed) layer of rock underfoot. At the highest point of the Moenkopi Loop trail, we stopped for a snack and much conversation. Being in the middle of the floor of the wide canyon, we had views of the escarpment, the Calico Hills and the North Blue Diamond Hills which lay past the Red Rock Visitor's Center as seen in the photo below.

 After our break, we back-tracked to the trail that takes the hiker on a gentler slope down to the other side of the hill. We joined the Grand Circle Trail and hiked back to the Visitor's Center. It was a beautiful day to enjoy the outdoors.

                                Hiking the Moenkopi Loop

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