Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bonanza Trail - 10/1/13

McFarland Peak from Northern Approach

Mt. Charleston from Bonanza Trail

 The Bonanza Trail serves as a "feather in the cap" of anyone who accomplishes it. It is located in the Spring Mountains NRA and is usually hiked as a point-to-point hike. The southern trailhead is found mid-way around the Bristlecone Loop which begins at the end of Lee Canyon Hwy. The northern end is found at the end of a high-clearance dirt road that heads to the mountains from Cold Creek, Nevada. Two groups of hikers begin at respective trailheads and exchange car keys somewhere in the middle of the hike. Tuesday's coordinator was Brian D. and he offered these words about the hike.

Trail Lined with Bristlecones

 “A total of eleven folks hiked the Bonanza trail, also known as the Spring Mountain Divide trail Tuesday.  Seven went from S-N in about 10+ hours and four from N-S in 8+ hours.  In either direction the distance is just less than 15 miles, but going S-N has a gross gain of about 3500 ft while going N-S has about 1200 ft more.  The weather was perfect, but the trail was a bit obscure in a couple of places because of rain washouts and lack of use. 
The Key Exchange Party

We all lost the trail at least once.  I was glad I had a track on my GPS from 2008.  Anyone doing the hike in the future would do well to take a GPS and get a track to use when needed.  Hunting for the trail up steep, loose dirt isn’t too much fun.  As usual, it’s the second climb that comes after 7-8 miles that is the killer…in either direction.  The opinion of at least a few of yesterday’s hikers is that it is harder than Charleston Peak.  I last did it 5 years ago, and it might be another 5 years before I do it again!” ~ Brian

Bonanza Peak from Southern Approach

 The photos with hikers in them used in this blog were taken by Jan M. who was part of the south to north gang of eight. The landscape photos are leftovers from when Kay did the hike in 2012. Congratulations to the twelve hikers for this year and, in the future, we hope that we don't keep getting lost at the same place ... southern slope of Bonanza Peak. (There were also a lot of downed trees crossing the trail.)

Window in the Cliff from Switchbacks

Northern Trailhead

Elevation from North to South

Elevation from South to North

Elevation from North to South

South End of Bonanza Trail

Middle of Bonanza Trail

North End of Bonanza Trail

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