Monday, December 17, 2012

Echo Canyon / First Finger / Fossil Ridge - 12/17/12

             Red Rock Shrouded in Clouds from Sunny North Blue Diamond Hills

                                     Looking Up Through Echo Canyon

 Today, fifteen hikers saw what Red Rock Canyon would look like without the famous escarpment! The cliffs and peaks were completely shrouded in clouds for the duration of the hike that began at the Cowboy Trails parking lot. It was very cold to start the hike but a brisk pace took care of that! We quickly hiked past the upper stables and dropped into the Echo / Cave Canyon area. Taking a right at the canyon fork, we began our climb up through Echo Canyon.

 The group of hikers, today, were ready for a workout so the fast pace was welcome as we hiked, scrambled and twisted our way up through the beautiful little canyon. The weather wasn't bad for a hike. After all, there was no wind in the canyon and there was also no rain in the forecast. As we reached the high point of the hike, there was just a light wind that didn't really bother us.

                La Madre Mountain Range Peeking Out of Clouds Over Red Rock

                    Mt. Potosi Behind Clouds and Invisible Escarpment to Right

 At the top of Echo Canyon, we turned left onto the First Finger Trail. About halfway around the finger of the plateau, we stopped for a break. Before we got too cold, we started out again and finished First Finger. This had brought us around to the old mining road that connected to the top of Echo Canyon. We passed the trail down and continued on the outer Fossil Ridge Trail ... that some people have named the "Bunny Trail."

 Our swift pace continued as we found the connecting trail that led us just below the rim of the ridge above Echo Canyon. From there, we chose the left trail that brought us back to the cars on a gradual down slope. Conversation throughout the group of hikers never ceased over the 6.25 mile hike that gained a total of around 1000 feet in elevation over almost three hours.

                           Fossil Ridge Trail with Echo Canyon to Right

                                Red Barrel Cactus on First Finger Trail

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