Saturday, November 9, 2013

Conglomerate Gardens Loop - 11/9/13

Cholla, Red Barrels & Conglomerate Rock

Conglomerate Arch Among Boulders and Cacti

 The bicyclists call it "Kibbles 'n' Bits." We call it Conglomerate Gardens Loop. Whatever you call this trail, twenty hikers came out to do the 6.5 miles this morning. It was a gorgeous day shining upon us as we motored into the Red Rock Canyon NCA Cowboy Trails parking lot and began our hike up the outer Fossil Ridge Trail. Diane, our coordinator, started out with a vengeance. The two mile climb up the hill was fast and no-nonsense.

Red Rock View from Climb Up Fossil Ridge

 Each time we arrived at a fork in the trail, we turned right. The last fork was the high point of the hike after we had climbed almost 1100 feet in elevation. Now, we began a squirrelly windy tour descending among large conglomerate boulders surrounded by a vast collection of cacti and yuccas. One of the first points of interest was an area of limestone rock that held a large array of fossils from the pre-cambrian era. The front of the line of hikers walked right by the display and forgot to look as seen in the photo to the right.

Some of the Fossils

Approaching the Snack Break

 We wound around some more and ended up in the midst of a huge area of conglomerate rock. The internet suggests that conglomerate rock is usually prominent in areas where there is an alluvial fan at the base of mountains. Well, that be us! Anyway, we sat here for our break and enjoyed the view. There were also some bikers just below us who were doing the same.

A Bunch of Happy Hikers

 The remaining three miles were more of the same as we moved generally in the direction of the cars. The view continued to be beautiful and the day only got better and better. Three hikers decided they were trail runners today and ran back. Several other hikers decided they were singers .... Lucky for some of us, voices can get lost in desert! A wonderful hike.

99 hikers on the trail today, 
99 hikers on the trail, 
one fell down, 
didn't make a sound, 
98 hikers on the trail today ... 

Gee, what hikers will do to keep the bears away! ... mountain lions? ... bunny rabbits, yes, bunnies!

Winding Our Way Back

More Conglomerate Gardens

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