Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The "New" Arizona Hot Springs Canyon - 10/1/14

Arizona Hot Springs Ladder

Official Trail Sign for Every Year Now

Starting up the Hot Springs Slot
 During August of 2014, Las Vegas had several large rain storms blow through the area. One storm hit the area just south of the Hoover Dam and bridge pretty hard resulting in a strong flash flood in the canyon that empties into the Arizona Hot Springs (Ringbolt Hot Springs) slot. Luckily, the park service had already closed the trail off from hikers and the boulders that came tumbling down through the slot only maimed the ladder! They also created a few interesting changes in the hike.

New Floor Level Below Hot Springs
 There was a large amount of sand rearrangement above and below the canyon. The beach at the river extends about fifty feet or so further out into the river canal. Also, very interesting is the unearthing of a huge network of roots under the various trees of the canyon.

New Obstacle #1
 The first new obstacle boulder could be the culprit to the maiming of the ladder!

New Obstacle #1 Closer View
 Hikers will now have to wade through a deepish pool and climb over this boulder. (You came to get wet anyway, right?)

New Obstacle #2
 The second new obstacle is a mess of large boulders with a very narrow waterfall on the right side. After this, the waterfalls that were there before are still there. Then, the sand floor is higher until you reach the ladder.

New Ladder Obstacle
 The "new" ladder should probably be named the third obstacle. The rungs are all crooked and the long extensions on the top of the ladder were probably mangled so much that the park service decided they had to be sawed off. This makes the step from the top rung to the rock surface a dangerous endeavor. Be careful!

New Boulder Makes a Better Climb Out
 The pools were gone at the top level until John, who volunteers his time and energy to this trail's maintenance, brought sand bags down last Thursday. He and a couple more folks down there filled the bags and created at least one pool. There are more sand bags waiting to be filled and placed.

Brushy Wash Above Hot Springs Exit - No Longer Brushy

High Level of Sand Deposited Above Hot Springs
  As hikers climb up and out of the slot, they will find that a new boulder is at the base of the slippery wall. This will aid in the climb. Also, upon exiting the slot, hikers will notice that a lot of that sticky brush has been quashed by sand. Whatever sand got washed down and didn't go all the way through the slot, filled parts of the canyon. However, there are also parts of the canyon where the obstacles have been washed out making the climb up a little more difficult. The redistribution of sand reminds the writer of Gateway Canyon's yearly house cleaning.

One of the Places Sand was Taken From
That said, John checked out White Rock Canyon as well. This canyon is not changed as much. But, was this barrel (shown below) always there or did it wash down from a mine somewhere up in the hills??

Rusted Barrel in White Rock Canyon

No comments: