Saturday, March 30, 2013

Conglomerate Gardens - 3/30/13

                     Blooming Mojave Yucca in Front of the Calico Hills

                                          Terraced Natural Garden

 Today's early Saturday hike was a desert loop called Conglomerate Gardens which was attended by sixteen hikers. Located in the North Blue Diamond Hills of Red Rock Canyon NCA, the trail was adorned with blooming mojave yuccas and yucca brevia (aka Joshua Trees). Also abundantly seen among the rocks were Engelmann Hedgehog Cacti, Prickly Pear Opuntia, Red Barrel Ferocactus, and Jumping Cholla (another opuntia).

                   Engelmann Hedgehog Cacti in Front of Opuntia Cacti

                       Samples of Flora on the North Blue Diamond Hills

 The hike travels uphill for two miles then begins a very windy route downhill of more than four miles. It winds through and among a large outcropping of conglomerate rock formations for which we named the trail. It was originally a bicycle trail that bike enthusiasts still call "Kibbles 'n' Bits." Several fossils are seen on the trail. One wall in particular is covered with them.

                                  Some of the Many Fossils on the Trail

                                              Conglomerate Rock

 We took our break on large conglomerate rocks and one very large ledge that two hikers were sitting on actually broke off of the main. No one got hurt but there was quite a squeal! From there we winded our way back to the cars while we watched stormy weather come in from the southwest over the Spring Mountains. Nice hike with 996 feet total gain in elevation over 6 miles.

                           Weather Building Up in the Spring Mountains

                                                   Heading Home

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