Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Waterfall Canyon - 11/6/13

One of Many Waterfalls

Waterfall Canyon

 Twenty-two hikers gathered for a hike up into Waterfall Canyon today. This spring fed canyon flows water year round and is found 1.5 miles up Rocky Gap Road from Willow Springs Picnic Area off of the Red Rock Canyon NCA scenic loop. The out and back hike is a little over 4 miles from Willow Springs and gains 1300 feet in elevation. The hike can also be done as a partial loop by utilizing the wash adjacent to the road for either the ascent or descent. Today, we walked the road up and back.

Trail Junction (Rocky Gap Rd & Waterfall Canyon)

Gathering on the Limestone

 We stopped for a small break several times along the hike. Our right turn into the canyon from the road led us into a beautiful limestone ravine. An average amount of water was flowing through the grass and limestone setting. Immediately, several of today's hikers were challenged with the slippery characteristics of limestone that is often covered with water. Nevertheless, we were all determined to rise to the occasion as we helped each other find the trails.

Slippery Scrambling

Almost to the End

 Waterfall Canyon was not left untouched by the huge amount of rain last summer. The brush was over-growing the trail in a few places and the limestone seemed smoother in other places. It appeared that hikers have been recently hiking on the high trail to the ascending right of the ravine. Most likely, there were many times last summer that required this detour.

Algae Covering the Orange Beneath

The Highest Waterfall (Shaded)

 Chris led us up past the highest waterfall and continued until it was impossible to climb next to the stream any further. The waterfalls in the upper reaches of the canyon were covered in algae as seen two photos above. The group separated on the descent. Everyone was happily returning to the cars at their own speed. A very pleasant hike even though the canyon is not at its best at this time.


Returning on Rocky Gap Road

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