Friday, August 14, 2015

Calico I / Moenkopi Loop Extended - 8/14/15

Sunrise from Calico Hills to North Blue Diamond Hills

Sunrise at the Calico Hills

 Perks! That's what you get when you climb out of bed before the rooster crows and head over to Red Rock Canyon for an early morning summer hike in the desert. Perks include sunrise lighting, wildlife sitings and getting your exercise before you wake up! ... All joking aside, nine club hikers arrived at the BLM Visitor Center for a beautiful morning hike in Red Rock Canyon NCA. We started down the Grand Circle Trail and hung a right onto the Moenkopi Loop Trail. Next, we kept our straight direction and crossed the Scenic Loop road.

Hiking Up to Calico I
 We climbed up to the Calico I turnout as the sun was rising. Soon, we were in the shade of the Calico Hills.

Road Runner on the Hunt

 After we dropped down to the Calico I Overlook, we crossed the wash and climbed up to the top of the middle ridge. To our right, we watched a road runner as he/she did its best to control the lizard population. In the beginning, this part of the trail was used as part of the Grand Circle Trail. Now, the trail down near the wash is the accepted official route. At the end of the ridge, we dropped down the sandstone and squeezed our way through a place where the sandstone opened up.

Hiking in the Shade of the Calico Hills
 This area was our "touch of scrambling" on this fine morn'.

A Touch of Scrambling

 We hiked along the slanted sandstone slab beneath the Calico II turnout until we started up the wash. Finding an area with a lot of rock seating, we stopped for our breakfast break. Conversations included competitive diving and our upcoming Hawaii trip. (We are very diverse!) The sun continued its rise and the display was gorgeous! Shortly, we started our hike back to Calico I on the newer Grand Circle Trail down by the wash.

Sunrise on Red Sandstone
 The sun bathed the vegetation gold as we hiked the climb up to Calico I. Then, we crossed the Scenic Loop road again.

Returning on the Grand Circle Trail

 This trail took us down to junction with the Moenkopi Loop Trail. We hung another right, hiked up the path of moenkopi limestone and topped off the small hill overlook. The sun was starting to get really warm so we continued off the hill and down the Grand Circle Trail back to the visitor center. To our left and right were jackrabbits doing their wildlife thing! Short, sweet and beautiful!

5 miles; 600 feet elevation gain; 2.25 hours

Moenkopi Hill Overlook

Jackrabbit Statue

No comments: