Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fossil Ridge - 12/15/12

                                   A Gorgeous Morning at Red Rock

                                               Lettie's Little Frosty

 Snow Day! Nine hikers came out for an absolutely gorgeous day on the North Blue Diamond Hills. We have had quite a bit of snow in the mountains outside of Las Vegas in the last day or two and, for a few hours this morning, the blue sky opened up and showed off the dusted escarpment of Red Rock Canyon NCA. We were all prepared for any kind of weather and were rewarded with the best that Mother Nature could offer.

                                           Yuccas on Fossil Ridge

We started up the outside route of Fossil Ridge from the Cowboy Trails parking lot. This is a long gradual hill that takes the hiker up 800 elevation feet over two miles. Every time we took a small break, we turned around and embraced the view. We watched as a bank of fog traveled over the top of the escarpment then disappeared before reaching the highway down below. Around us, the Blue Diamond Hills were dusted with a light coat of snow that clung to the scrub and cacti.

                Turtlehead and Calico Hills from the North Blue Diamond Hills

 We hiked up and up and up, inadvertently missing a targeted connector trail that would make the hike shorter. Before we knew it, we were at the top of Echo Canyon where we took a hard left and began hiking down to the trail that would take us along the canyon near the top ridge. When we reached a point where we would be out of the light breeze, we stopped for a short snack break. Noticing the weather coming in over the Calico Hills, we cut the break short and continued our journey down above the canyon.

                                           Weather Coming In

 Even though the clouds were encroaching into the park, the views were still fabulous as we walked by the conglomerate rock at the canyon edge. We tried our voices at the echo point then headed down the fossil ridge hill to our cars. We had enjoyed our hike in the winter scenery and headed home passing many people on the side of the road taking photos of the winter display.

                                Conglomerate Rock on Fossil Ridge Trail

                                    Echo Canyon Below Fossil Ridge

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