Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Griffith Peak via Rainbow - 8/1/12

                                Lovell Canyon from Harris Springs Trail.

                                Spring Mountains, Clouds, Fog and Rainbow

 Should we, or shouldn't we? That was the question this morning as rain in the Spring Mountains was predicted. "Well, why not," said eight hardy hikers when they showed up at the meeting point with rain gear in their packs. We got quite a show from Mother Nature as we drove up to the Rainbow trailhead in Kyle Canyon as seen in the photo collage above. Then we started up the hill behind the little community of Rainbow on a very steep incline. The only thing that kept us in good spirits was knowing that this first couple of miles was the major work of the day.

                                Cliff area from Rainbow Canyon Trail.

                                Hiking up the cliff area.

Thankful to be up on the ridge and heading to the right on the Harris Springs Trail, we immediately began enjoying the view of Lovell Canyon and the cliff area. We hiked up through the cliff area and took several photos as these are perhaps the most beautiful views that the Kyle Canyon area has to offer with the exception of Mt. Charleston itself. We were also enjoying a bit of blue sky above us.

 Limestone Cliffs with Lovell Canyon beyond.

                                Kyle Canyon overlook in the clouds.

When we passed Marbles' home on the way up, we saw her outside searching for the illusive chipmunk in the wood pile. Next thing we knew, she was bounding up the hill with us, very excited for an outing of adventure since Mom and Dad were not around to call her back. We fed her and watered her and she stayed with us for the whole ten miles and 3700 feet of elevation gain. There were so many chipmunks to chase and so little time.

                                Leaving the cliff area.

                                Marbles sees a chipmunk!

From the cliff area, we hiked up to the campsite and began hiking around and behind the Griffith Peak area. There are many very old and large bristlecone trees on this side of the mountain and the views were enchanting as we watched the clouds moving in. We took as few breaks as physically possible hoping to get the long hike over with before a thunder storm popped up. Finally, we were facing the up hill climb to the peak. This was very challenging as we approached the 11,000 foot level of altitude.

         Brian enjoys the cloudy view of Kyle Canyon from Griffith Peak summit.

                       Mummy's Toe from the peak as the clouds are moving in.

We watched the clouds threaten to smother us on the peak but they never quite did. Instead, the display around us was a mesmerizing show. Brian, our coordinator du jour, encouraged us to be quick with our break so we signed the book, stuffed down a snack and got ready to go again, this time down. We hit the trail, turned right at the South Loop junction and began switchbacking our way down through the clouds. At the end of the steps, we turned to our right, again, to finish the hike on the Rainbow Loop trail. It was here that we heard our first rumble of thunder. Marbles got distracted by one more chipmunk at the weather station above Rainbow and we completed our hike passing the upper level of cabins. Nary a drop of rain touched our boots!

                                Hiking down the South Loop Trail in the clouds.

              Reaching the Rainbow Loop turn off before the first clap of thunder.

1 comment:

Jerry Thomas said...

Great hike. Sorry I missed it.