Thursday, June 14, 2012

No Name Trail - 6/14/12

                                Mt. Charleston from the No Name Trail

 There were sixteen hikers on today's moderately strenuous hike on the No Name Trail. We began hiking at the Upper Bristlecone trailhead at the end of Lee Canyon Highway. After a mile, we turned left onto a trail that forest rangers have half heartedly tried to block with limbs. They probably want to deter casual hikers from thinking that the small trail was part of the popular Bristlecone hike. Nevertheless, we confidently turned onto the trail and began a steep climb up through the forest.

                                The winter brought a large tree obstacle.

                      Three of the five ladies who made an appearance today.

 Today's group was a mixed bag of strong healthy hikers and strong hikers who were nursing themselves back to health. Therefore, we tended to become divided into two speeds. Several times, the lead group would stop to wait on the following group and the hike progressed as such. When we reached the No Name Saddle, the toughest work for the day was done.

                             The old bristlecone that must be climbed!

We treaded into the old bristlecone forest at the top of the climb and began enjoying the familiar wood sculptures by climbing the old tree pictured above.

                                     Another Old Bristlecone

 As we made our way to the Bonanza Trail junction, the hikers in the front of the line heard the unmistakable noise a horse makes when he blows through his lips. After a short exploration, no horses were seen, however, as we took our break at the junction, a distinctive "whinny" was heard in the distance.

Picking ourselves up off of the scattered logs, we turned to the right on the Bonanza Trail and switchbacked our way down to the Bristlecone trail junction. From this section of the hike, we could see Mack's Peak and South Sister (two of our recent hikes).

We continued to look for the horses but to no avail.
                    Mack's Peak (L) and South Sister (R) from the Bonanza Trail

                                Switchback on the Bonanza Trail

We gathered one last time at the junction then began hiking to the right down the trail. On our way back to the cars, we passed a very large group of girls from a local girls' summer camp. (We assured them that the bear we saw was quite small and probably ran away soon after we saw him.) Of course we were just kidding! There are no bears in the Spring Mountains. :-)
                                Lettie hikes through the aspens.

                                Field of wildflowers near the Bristlecone trailhead.

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