Saturday, September 20, 2014

Champion Loop - 9/20/14

Sprinkle Clouds over Mummy's Head from Champion Road

Lee Canyon parallel to Champion Road

 Again, there was some question as to whether or not it would rain on our parade. We studied the weather predictions and watched the satellite predictions prior to arriving at Lee Canyon Road's Sawmill Trailhead parking area. The clouds seemed to be settled over the highest elevations of the Spring Mountains NRA. Our hike, today, would be slightly lower in altitude. So nine optimistic hikers crossed the Lee Canyon Road and hiked down the hill on Champion Road, a high clearance dirt road that hosts many primitive campsites.

Champion Road
 As we crossed the wash, hiked up the road, and passed the worst sections of the dirt road, we started seeing campers among the trees. From about half way up to Deer Creek Road and above, the dirt road appeared passable by regular cars.

Warning for Campers and Hikers

 A month or two ago, Lee Canyon flooded and the sign in the photo above looked kind of new. There to warn campers and hikers. We junctioned with Deer Creek Road, turned to our right and stepped among the rabbitbrush behind the guard rail to find the small trail that leads down to the drainage. We told each other that if we heard rocks or water or breaking trees, calmly (& quickly) exit the wash to your left! We weren't too concerned. The real rain wasn't expected until that afternoon.

Dropping Down into Lee Canyon Drainage
 Nevertheless, we voted to skip the usual snack break just in case a few sprinkles had our name on them. Then, we looked for the jaw bone that used to reside in this area but to no avail.

Starting Down in the Lee Canyon Drainage

 The drainage was clearly changed from the recent flood. And, we immediately started noticing a lot of trash that had been washed down. A few hikers began picking up trash but had no bags for such work. Then we came across a plastic trash can lid. That'll work! They also pulled out a torn up pool raft. Makes you wonder. At any rate, we reached Champion Road at the junction and climbed back up to Sawmill. A very leisurely and enjoyably dry hike.

3.5 miles; 600 feet elevation gain; 2 hours

Re-Purposing the Hike to Trash Pick-Up

Nearing the Wash & Champion Road Junction

1 comment:

Larry Dunn said...

Picking up trash may not be THE PURPOSE of most hikes, but it is always a nice thing to do. To that end, I recommend that all hiker always pack a trash bag in their kit. There are usually TOO many opportunities to use it!