Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Red Springs Loop - 4/9/14

Beavertail Bloom

Calico Wash

 Although the photos seem to imply that the weather was a bit dismal today, twelve hikers were thankful for the cloud cover since the forecast called for temperatures in the 80's at Red Rock Canyon NCA. Summer is coming quickly here in southern Nevada! We left the Red Springs Picnic Area parking lot and hiked around to the base of the Red Springs Pass (aka Angel Pass or Guardian Angel Pass). Chris suggested that everyone take their own trail and go at their own speed up the rocky hill.

Climbing Up to the Pass
 All twelve hikers arrived at the pass summit within the same three minutes. It was a strong group and the loop went by fast, ... especially since we did not stop for a long snack break!

Twelve (Including Photog Kay) on the Pass Summit

 We descended the other side of the pass down to the scenic drive side of the Calico Hills. There are a lot of trails leading up and down this pass. All trails will get you there eventually! And, all trails ... it seems ... will take you by the Angel carving in the large boulder near the bottom of the pass. When reaching the bottom, we noted the water level in the tank to the left then climbed up on the rocks to detour around the tenaja.

Below Calico II Turnout
 We passed by the Calico II scenic drive turnout down in the wash and continued until we could make our way up onto the hill to the left.

Sandstone Slab

 Some of the group hiked the trail closest to the sandstone hills and the others took the higher route. But, when we reached the Calico I turnout, we all dropped down into the wash again. Another detour out of the wash and back in took us to an interesting slot that ended in a small dry fall that we had to slide down. In comparison to previous trips through this area, the dry fall "bottom" was lower and a little more washed out.

Small Dry Fall Descent
 We followed Chris down through the rest of the boulder-filled wash then took the trail out up to the left.

Exit from the Wash

 We noted the petroglyphs on the boulders in this area then headed up the hill following a trail where we were obliged to hike underneath a very huge balanced boulder. (... someday ...) Our route curved around the sandstone ridge point and we hiked up and over the hill. Finding ourselves above Red Springs, we continued down to the parking lot to complete the loop. Nice, no-nonsense hike / scramble.

4 miles; 1000 feet elevation gain; 2.5 hours

Trail Leading Under the Balanced Rock

Completing the Loop at Red Springs

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