Saturday, February 9, 2013

Rainbow Gardens - 2/9/13

                                   Lava Butte Amidst Rainbow Gardens

                                                 Rainbow Gardens

There were thirteen hikers on the late Saturday hike today. The weather threatened to be cold and windy, yet, what we got was warm with a light breeze. It turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day for hiking. So, we went to mile marker 2 on Northshore Road by Lake Mead and parked at the turnout near there. Lava Butte reigns in this vicinity and colors abound.

                                                 Rainbow Gardens

 We began hiking in the wide wash to our left; winding with a slow gentle ascent. There were trails that could be used to cut off some of the curves of the wash and to avoid some of the loose sand. We passed some "antiquities" like rusted bed springs and barrels. Some of the old stuff was unidentifiable and we presumed it all belonged to miners who used to mine for who knows what in this area.

                            Yellow Stone in the Canyon at Rainbow Gardens

 After reaching the high point, which was a small ridge at the base of the butte, we dropped down into a small canyon. The canyon was filled with changing colors and rock formations. There was a tiny bit of scrambling over rocks and ledges but we kept the pace reasonably slow. When we reached a small side slot to the right, we all explored the niche.

                                     Taking Our Break in the Canyon

                                    Pink and Gold Walls of the Canyon

 We took our break in the sun then hiked down past the next turn. There it was! The wooden ladder still stands against the wall going nowhere. We continued past the exit wash and came out to a wide dirt road wash that had been graded for a development in Lake Las Vegas that had never been completed. A pipeline lay down the middle of the road and we followed it out to a finger of the man made lake.

                                Examining the Pipeline of the Wide Wash

The lake finger was clear water lined by reeds, brush and bare rock walls. Some day this area will be filled with nice grandiose homes. But, until then, we will continue to hike out to this point and enjoy the same view for free. We soaked in the moment, then turned around and started back.

                                           Finger of Lake Las Vegas

 On the way back to the return wash, we took a side trip to another dry fall. Then headed back the way we came, turned right on one more different wash then merged with the sandy wash on which we began. Hiking out seemed longer than hiking in and, in spite of having other plans when we began, all thirteen hikers completed the six easy miles without bailing after four. Good company!

                                                 The Return Wash

                                                 Rainbow Gardens

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