Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blue Diamond Bike Trails - 10/5/13

Sandstone Outcropping Above Trail

Trail with Escarpment Rising Behind

 There were seven of us hiking today on the 8am adventure. The scheduled hike to the Calico Tanks could not be done due to the government park closure so we substituted the Blue Diamond Bike Trails whose trailhead is located just behind the Blue Diamond, Nevada community. It is within the Red Rock Canyon NCA bounds but is not gated nor developed. We saw many hikers, bikers and climbers parked along Highway 159 in various places as we drove over to the trailhead and noted the park rangers sitting at the gates only. They did not seem interested in those who parked outside the gates.

Spanish Trail Marker (1829 to 1850)

Part of Trail Nearest Hwy 160

 The Blue Diamond Bike Trails hike is a 5 mile loop that circles around the hills behind Blue Diamond where you can see Highway 160, then turns north to start a circuitous route up into the hills. The views of Mt. Potosi, Cottonwood Valley and the escarpment are majestic and there were many autumn yellow flowers that have sprouted in the washes since the rains ended. At last, after 3 miles of gentle climbing, we reached the high point ridge.

View from Trail Across Cottonwood Valley

Taking Our Break at the Sandstone Outcrop

 Not far down from the ridge, there is a singular sandstone rock outcropping where we took our break. We climbed up to the top of the rocks and contemplated the view. Afterwards, we began our descent into the canyon below. There are two routes; a south side route and a north side route. Today, we took the north side route and completed the loop with the greatest circumference on the map below . Our 5 miles gained around 1200 feet in total elevation.

Hiking Down one of the Slippery Bike Paths

Crossing the Wash

Elevation with Descent on North Side of Canyon

Elevation with Descent on South Side of Canyon

Blue Diamond Bike Trails System

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