Saturday, January 10, 2015

Rainbow Gardens - 1/10/15

Lava Butte from Approach Wash

Colorful Wash

Hiking Out the Wash
 The group of twenty hikers were double parked in the pull out at mile marker 2 on Northshore Road this morning. Looking for a leisurely hike, we headed down the hill and up the wash. About every half mile we stopped to make sure everyone was together as we soaked in the warm sun on a day that promised 20% chance of rain! That's January in the desert for you!

Leaving the Wash for the Trail
 The main wash circled around brown hills to our left. Lava Butte rose up in front to the right. Our hike would take us to the base of Lava Butte before we dropped down into a colorful wash.

Side Canyon

Finding our Own Trail
 About 1.5 miles in, we left the wash and connected with a trail that took us up to a pebbled ridge. The trail area is scattered with rusted "objet d'art." Okay. Rusted old stuff. Barrels, bed springs, washboards, pipes and nondescript bars litter the area. It is still unlawful to remove objects that are over fifty years old from wilderness land.

Lava Butte above Rainbow Gardens
 We found our way up to the pebbled ridge as we entered an area of browns, yellows and greens. We could see a mine opening further up to the base of Lava Butte. There is still an existing claim here.

View Back from Pebbled Ridge

Dropping into the Colorful Wash
 After hiking up the ridge a short distance, we dropped down into the canyon wash on the other side and began a descent through interesting geology. Many of the hikers, today, had not visited this canyon. They all agreed that it was a beautiful display of color and formations. We picked our way through the rocks and sand. The canyon was slightly more washed out than last year but it was not a problem.

Crossing Yellow Layered Stone
 As we neared our designated snack spot, someone noticed a dead, or dying, tarantula. If she wasn't gone, she was almost gone. It is winter. And, the temperatures dropped below freezing last week.

Colorful Wash

Janet Views the Dry Fall
 The snack spot offered rock seating, shade, sun and a small side canyon that ended quickly in a dry fall as seen in the photo to the right. A few of us explored the canyon then sat for the continuance of good conversations. It was a talkative bunch today! Old friends. New friends. Happy friends.

Snack Break
 A little down from the break spot, we passed the old ladder. Yes, it's still there. Our route turned to the left when we reached a wash junction just after that.

Old Ladder to Nowhere

Creosote Art
  The Lake Las Vegas cove visit was not on the agenda this morning. So, following the wash and trail to the left, we soon junctioned with the spot where we had turned onto the trail to go up to the pebbled ridge. (Remember the area with all the rusted art?) So, from there, we returned to the cars via the original wash cutting the corners when we could. Great morning!

4 miles; 350 feet elevation gain; 2.75 hours

Return Wash


No comments: