Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Trough Trail and Robbers' Roost - 7/29/15

Mummy Mountain from the Hike a Bike Trail

Wildlife Troughs on Trough Trail

Feeder Trail from Trailhead Parking
 Okay, business first! When eight club hikers turned their three cars onto Deer Creek Road in the Spring Mountains NRA this morning, there were NO construction signs! We traveled up the road and there were NO orange cones! Could they be finished? Yippee! So, now pleasure. We parked at the Robbers' Roost trailhead parking and began our hike by dropping down on the trail behind the large sign. This steep little trail ends at the junction of the old Deer Creek Road and Telephone Canyon Road, both dirt and gravel roads that are no longer used by motorized vehicles.

Telephone Canyon Road (L to R) / Trough Trail (Straight into Woods) Junction
 We took a right turn and forked to the left waking up our muscles on a 0.90 mile downward stretch of Telephone Canyon Road.

View Back from Trough Trail Ascent

Trough Trail
 Just when we were about to get tired of the easy road, we arrived at the Trough Trail junction. There is a cairn built on the right side of the road and the trail turns to the left. Our easy descent had ended and we turned to start a beautiful trail climb up through the forest. The Trough Trail is used by bikers so some of the trail is worn but still hikeable. It travels up the hillside swerving right and left up through a wash. We had to stop a couple of times to catch our breath and as we neared the spring-fed troughs, we saw four mule deer scatter from slaking their thirst. They were very healthy looking; beautiful animals.

Trough Trail (Foreground) / Excursion Trail (to R) Junction
 The trail continues from the troughs then begins switchbacking steeply to a high point of the hill. The high point trail junction seen in the photo above shows where we turned to the right to begin a small exploratory excursion out an unnamed trail.

Tiny Excursion Trail Between Trees

Picnic in the Woods
 We followed the small trail about a third of a mile. When it passed another unknown junction, it became stronger and easier to follow. We stopped when we realized that it was beginning to lose precious elevation. We found a place to sit in the shade of the woods and had our break. After studying the map of the area, it appears that this trail might continue down into the AtBF Canyon that we have yet to completely map out. The trail definitely warrants more exploration. But, today, we finished our break and continued on our planned route.

Returning on Excursion Trail
 We returned along the same small trail all the way back to the junction in a photo above. Views of Mummy Mountain and the escarpment containing Hummingbird Gulch and Robbers' Roost could be seen all along the ridge.

Returning on Excursion Trail

Enjoying the Hike a Bike Trail
 Back at the junction, we turned right to continue on the Trough Trail that would soon tee into the Hike a Bike Trail. Here, we turned to our left. This junction was marked by a piece of "Caution" tape tied to a tree. Hmm. Must be for the bikers because, for hikers, this is another beautiful woodsy trail with nice views. This trail travels around on an easy down slope ending just below the new Deer Creek Road above. Eventually, the trail connects with the old Deer Creek Road and finishes the loop at the feeder trail that we came in on.

Robbers' Roost Cave from Hike a Bike Trail
 We had a great group of hikers today that were ready for a lot of fun. And, the weather was great if not just a little warm.

Small Homemade Bridge

Hiking a Portion of the old Deer Creek Road
 We climbed back up the feeder trail and that may have been the hardest part of the hike! Here, three hikers decided to call it a day. The remaining five hikers crossed the road and took a jaunt up the hillside to see Robbers' Roost. The sign explains this historic landmark as such: "Legends suggest that the Robbers' Roost cave area was used by horse thieves as a hideout around 1885, until cattle rustling became more profitable. The thieves may have robbed travelers on the old Mormon Road, a trail from Utah that went through Las Vegas Valley on its way to California."

Fun morning.

4.5 miles; 1050 feet elevation gain; 2.75 hours

Rock Art from the old Deer Creek Road

Cave Area of Robbers' Roost

Robbers' Roost Trail
Purple Trail is Overlay of Further Exploration of This Area

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