Friday, October 24, 2014

Dale's Trail - 10/24/14

Vista Bench Nearest Pine Creek on Dale's Trail

Rock at Red Dirt Bench Nearest Ice Box Canyon on Dale's Trail

 Today's Friday hike was a moderate out and back on Dale's Trail. This is a trail made by Dale (?) about 25 years ago that runs along the base of the Red Rock Canyon escarpment between the Ice Box Canyon trail and the Pine Creek trail whose trailheads are found along the Scenic Loop. We began the five mile hike at the Ice Box Canyon trailhead. Around a quarter mile up the Ice Box Canyon trail, we turned left at the sign for Dale's Trail.

Hiking Dale's Trail - White Rock Hills in Background
 The Ice Box Canyon trail has been improved up to the Dale's Trail turnoff. However, once we were on Dale's Trail, loose rock was the name of the game.

Resting at the First Bench

 In very many sections of this trail, it is necessary to step carefully among the loose and rolly poly rocks. This is especially true on the many down slopes as you dip into several different washes along the way. The extra attention required slowed us down a bit; mostly on the way out to Pine Creek. On our way back, there were more up slopes than down slopes and it was easier to deal with our footing.

Heading Down into One of Many Wash Dips
 The morning views of Red Rock Canyon were beautiful. The colorful rocks, green desert foliage and the escarpment bathed in sunlight gave the morning purpose.

Dale's Trail and the Red Rock Canyon Escarpment Beyond

 When we approached the Skull Rock area, there were four burros that came into view. We would pass them fairly close by on the trail. They snorted at us and whinnied a bit as they were well aware of us. We enjoyed sharing their landscape, took our photos and moved on. Interestingly, one of the burros had a dark colored nose. That's a little unusual.

Burros in Pine Creek Vicinity
 We junctioned with the Pine Creek trail and turned right. A little distance up the trail, we turned toward the dry Pine Creek wash. Here, we took our break.

Snack Spot in Pine Creek

 One hiker who didn't want to face the long uphill on the return decided to hike up to the Pine Creek trailhead parking lot after the break. We picked her up later. Besides that, the return was similar except we went a lot faster. This made the moderate hike a great workout. And, yes, the burros were still there when we passed by again.

5 miles; 1000 feet elevation gain; 3.25 hours

Hiking Up Toward the Vista Bench on the Return

Nearing the Red Dirt Bench on the Return

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