Sunday, January 11, 2015

Black Mesa - 1/5/15

Sun Rising over Black Mesa

Gypsum Veined Red Rock

 Monday, the Around the Bend Friends made another visit to Black Mesa located between Lake Mead and Northshore Road just west of the Callville Bay Road. John Ward took these photos; Jerry Thomas donated his GPS track; and Joan Hawkins wrote a nice narrative of the hike as follows:

Eleven club members climbed Black Mesa off the Northshore Road in the Lake Mead NRA.  We parked at the pullout on the left at mile 10.5 on Northshore Road and then crossed the road dropping into a wide wash heading to the right side of Black Mesa. 

We paused to admire a large gypsum area on the side slope of Black Mesa.  Then we took a short side trip to see the rusty remains of a Ford truck.  

Old Ford Truck

 We took a ramp up Black Mesa that was about two-thirds down the mesa toward the lake.  It was a steep and rocky ascent but all made it to the top.  Once on top, we had a 360 degree view.  We gazed over Lake Mead to see Fortification Hill and Mount Wilson and the Wilson Range.  We also could see snow-capped Mount Charleston and the Red Rock Canyon Area.

 Walking on top of Black Mesa is very rocky but all did a good job of negotiating the rockiness.  We had our snack break after a walk to the far side of Black Mesa to a rocky area with three geological survey markers.  Jerry noted that one said “La Mesa.”   He also commented on being able to see Mount Wilson in Lake Mead (in Arizona) and Mount Wilson in Red Rock from our eating location.   John set up his camera and took a group picture using his camera timer. 

Lake Mead from Mesa Top

 After our snack, we took a walk around the top of Black Mesa.  We headed away from the lake along the left side until reaching the far end of Black Mesa.  Then we headed back toward the lake on the other side looking for our sheep trail off the mesa.  We found it and then descended the steep loose trail to the opposite side of Black Mesa.  We came down near the beginning of a colorful slot canyon which we followed out to its end.  There we turned left into a wash to return to our cars.  A few more minor ups and downs and we were back at our cars. ~ Joan H.

Heading Toward the Sheep Trail Down
 5 miles; 900 feet elevation gain; 3.5 hours

Colorful Exit Wash

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