Friday, June 26, 2015

Stanley B Mine & Springs - 6/26/15

Stanley B Mine & Spring - Protected Bat Habitat

Firecracker Penstemons near Mine

 The Stanley B Mine & Springs hike is a short, moderate, historical and shaded hike in the Spring Mountains NRA. In the less than 3 miles, a variety of hiking terrain is encountered. The trailhead is not signed. As you approach a neighborhood on the left side of the upper reaches of Kyle Canyon Road, there is a green road sign on the right that indicates, "Rainbow Subdivision." The first turnout on the right side of the road after this sign is the trailhead for Stanley B.

Small Scramble up Canyon Wash
 The hike begins by climbing up the canyon wash that flows out here at the trailhead. There is a worn trail that leads up between the rocks.

Beginning Short Cut Trail

 When the scramble ends by crossing a trail, turn right on the trail. This is actually the remnants of the old dirt road that was used for the mine. Wide views of the other side of Kyle Canyon can be seen from the next gentle climb. Near the top of this hill, there is a small trail that turns to the left. Look for a flattened cairn. If no cairn is there, look for the view seen in the photo above. There are one or two other trails that take off from the same area that lead into a lot of brush. The best one is the last one!

Nearing the Mine on the Old Road Remnants
 So, we turned onto the short cut trail and climbed up to junction with the old mining road once again. We turned up to the left, passed the old tree stump where we could count the rings and find out how old it was (we didn't), and hiked on up to the canyon fork where the Leroy Mine sign is still attached to a large tree about twenty feet up from the ground.

Spring Found on the Left Fork

 First, we went out just a short distance to the left fork where we viewed the piped in spring water which was flowing well. We also took note of the mine's air hole thirty feet up from the spring (seen in the photo to the left). Then we returned to the Leroy sign and hiked up the right fork. This is a short steep scramble over very slippery rocks. Just after the trail climbs up past two very large trees, the mine is there up to the left. Someone has replaced the sign that talks about the mine being a protected bat habitat in front of the barred up entrance.

Climbing the Right Fork to the Mine
 Most of today's eight hikers were moderate hikers and were barely breathing heavy when we reached this area. It is an historical hike with very calming wooded scenery but the length lacks a bit of ummph.

Hiking Down the Old Road

 For the descent, we stayed on the old mining road all the way down to Kyle Canyon Road. The views from the old road are fantastic. At times, the old road is narrow enough to be called a "trail." It leads through the middle of a campsite, passes the canyon wash junction, and on down to the gate that prevents off roaders from driving up. We turned left onto Kyle Canyon Road and hiked down a short way to the cars. Short and sweet.

3 miles; 900 feet elevation gain; 1.5 hours

Passing the Wash / Road Junction

Finishing the Hike Down Kyle Canyon Road

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