Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rubber Ducky Yucca - 4/3/13

                                                    Purple Ducky

                             Rubber Ducky Yucca Brevia (Joshua Tree)

 Sixteen hikers enjoyed the beautiful warm weather in Cottonwood Valley of Red Rock Canyon NCA this morning on a seven mile loop. We began at the Late Night Trailhead paved parking area off of Highway 160 in the southern part of the park. Utilizing some of the numerous bike trails in the valley, we worked our way north parallel to the escarpment. Joshua trees and mojave yuccas were still showing off their blooms and a jack rabbit (seen below) popped out of his hidey hole right after the majority of the group passed by.

                              Two Photos of Jack Rabbit Superimposed

                    Blooming Joshua Tree in Front of Red Rock Escarpment

 Reaching the corner of the Black Velvet dirt road, we crossed the fence and hiked up to a place where we could overlook part of Bonnie Springs in the distance. We turned to our right and hiked at the base of some large limestone hills. These hills were made from landslides that came off of the escarpment millions of years ago. We took our snack break on some rocks among colorful spring flowers then continued around the hills and came to one of Cottonwood Valley's main washes.

                                Spring Flowers in Cottonwood Valley

                                          Nearing Snack Break Area

We crossed the wash (seen to the left) and began working our way back in the direction of the cars. About a mile before the end of the loop, we found the Rubber Ducky Yucca as advertised. The joshua tree is covered with rubber ducks that hikers and bikers have placed there over the years. We placed our own ducks there and took several photos. This would be a great place to take your kids due to the minimal elevation gain and short distance from the trailhead. We finished our loop in a little more than three hours but if you wanted to hike in to the adorned tree straight from the trailhead, it would take a lot less time.

                                     Chris Hangs Our Rubber Duckies

                                        Globemallow and Limestone

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