Friday, February 21, 2014

Lone Grapevine Spring - 2/21/14

Mojave Yucca in Cottonwood Valley

Mike Presents a Boulder Filled with Petroglyphs

 What a fantastic day! Twenty-eight hikers must have agreed as they came out for a hike to Lone Grapevine Spring in Cottonwood Valley. The valley is located at the base of the Red Rock Canyon NCA escarpment between highways 159 and 160. We started our hike, a 5 mile partial loop with minimal elevation gain, at the Late Night Trailhead on Highway 160. Cottonwood Valley is covered with bicycle trails and most of our hike followed a few of these trails.

Hiking Toward the Escarpment

Conglomerate Rock and Cactus near a Protected Spring

 We started out by heading toward the highway and hiking parallel to it for a short distance. From there, we began hiking toward the canyon that lies between Hollow Rock Peak (the peak with the little knob on top) and Windy Peak (recognized by the two "stripes" of green brush on the left side of the slope) of the escarpment. There is a spring at the base of Windy Peak that is surrounded by a wooden fence that serves to protect the integrity of the water for the wildlife.

Hiking Over to the Next Spring

Brand New Spring Fed Water Trough

 After taking our time to observe this beautiful spring area, we hiked north toward another spring area. Here, they have just replaced the spring fed water trough with a shiny new one. We climbed the hill behind the trough and began seeing a large area of ancient and more modern petroglyphs. The collages below were made a couple of years ago after doing an extensive photographic search throughout the small area.

Collage Created in 2011

Collage Created in 2011

 We sat among the petroglyphs and ate a morning snack. It could not have been a more pleasant day. There were not many hikers exploring around the boulders but the history of the area was soaked in while we sat. Not only was this area used by the native people who lived here but it was also touched by the Spanish Trail of the early 20th century. Afterwards, we began our trek back to the cars utilizing a couple of different trails.

Collage Created in 2011

View Across Cottonwood Valley

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