Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cockscomb Ridge - 6/17/14

Cockscomb Ridge

Cockscomb Ridge Trail

 Six hikers stepped out of their cars at the Trail Canyon trailhead parking area in the Spring Mountains NRA and into the coolest air there has been for a couple of weeks in the mountains near Las Vegas. Although wind was predicted, it had not arrived yet. We began hiking up Trail Canyon at our own pace as is the usual procedure. We all knew there would be a regrouping at the saddle trail junction. The climb has been becoming a bit easier for most of us and we can now get up to the saddle without stopping. Of course, the pace with each of us varies. As we neared the saddle, Cockscomb Ridge, with a punctuation of Cockscomb Peak, came into view.

Cockscomb Peak from Trail Canyon Trail
 The ridge and peak can be seen to the right of Trail Canyon as you hike up. At the saddle, we just missed a nice photo of the moon setting on the Mt. Charleston Peak horizon.

Fletcher Canyon & Kyle Canyon from Cockscomb Ridge Trail

 Rested, we turned to the small trail on our right and hiked up to the overlook cliff area where we could see Fletcher Canyon flowing out into Kyle Canyon. From the overlook, we followed the trail out along the ridge that became more and more narrow. Although the ridge trail is not long in distance, there are many views worth taking photos of. (Ended with a preposition, I know.) The trail has a little exposure since the sides of the ridge drop steeply down a scree slope. The most difficult area to navigate is rounding the first large rock outcropping.

Kyle Canyon from Base of Cockscomb Peak
 The actual peak is the second "large rock outcropping" and this is where the ridge hike ends. When we reached the base of the peak, the wind had definitely arrived and we had to hold on to our hats.

Mt. Charleston from Base of Cockscomb Peak

 Karl is seen, in the photo to the left, holding on to a branch to stabilize himself from the wind gusts that were reaching 40 mph. Since the wind seemed to be coming from all directions, we decided to retreat back to the saddle for our long break. The wind wasn't as bad there. Our steady trip down the mountain on Trail Canyon Trail lasted around 45 minutes. During the morning, we saw several hikers, four dogs, one horse and rider and about fifteen guys doing never ending work on the trail.

5.25 miles; 1800 feet elevation gain; less than 3 hours

Hiking Down Cockscomb Ridge

Hiking Down Ridge Toward Mummy's Toe

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