Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hamblin Mountain - 12/27/14

Bowls of Fire from Climb to Hamblin Mountains

Wash Down to the Old Arrowhead Highway

Cottonwood Springs

 Hamblin Mountain is found in the Lake Mead NRA between Northshore Road at mile marker 18 and the lake. Seventeen hikers, (thirteen of whom had never set boots on Hamblin), showed up for the seven mile hike which includes a partial loop over to a colorful section of the old Arrowhead Highway which was the original road that ran between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

Regrouping at Cottonwood Springs
 We started up the wide wash and stopped for a small break at the base of the Cottonwood Springs dry fall. This is where the partial loop begins. We turned right onto a trail and quickly took the right fork that led into a small neighboring wash.

View West from Intermediate Saddle

 There are two suggested ways to get up to the intermediate saddle (the trail and the wash). We didn't take either of them! Yes, we missed the switchback on the trail and ended up too far to the left. Knowing our mistake, we worked our way back over to the right and eventually found the trail again just before the intermediate saddle.

Dry Fall Area
 Following the trail again, we continued up to the wash on the left side of the large area of mountains in front of us. This wash narrows into a small canyon where we had to climb an eight foot dry fall.

Climbing Up to Hamblin Peak

 We wound our way up and up and up. Finally on the approach ridge, we felt the full effect of the annoying and very cold wind of today. With the exception of the writer (who wimped out) all the hikers determinedly continued their climb up to the peak. Many of the hikers then retreated back down to the wind shelter at the saddle for their break.

A Chilly Bunch of Hikers
 Photos of the lake from the peak were not good due to the bright reflection off of the water. After enjoying the view of the lake in the cold, everyone began the descent.  After dropping out of the small canyon, we junctioned with the cross trail that would take us over to that colorful wash.

Following Sherry back down through the Canyon

 We dropped down into the wash and followed the dry water way while taking in the amazing colors as seen in the second photo of this entry. At the end of this wash, we junctioned with the old highway and followed it down to Cottonwood Springs where we queued up for our turn at the drop challenge. From there, we retraced our earlier steps back to the cars. Chilly day but worth the effort.

7 miles; 1500 feet elevation gain; 4 hours

The Colorful Wash Leading to Arrowhead Highway

Janet and Dennis Descend Cottonwood Springs Dry Fall

Following the Road Back to the Cars

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