Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lower Showgirl Loop - 8/2/15

Charleston Peak at the end of Kyle Canyon from Lower Showgirl Trail

Tunnel on the Right is the Showgirl Trail

Lower Showgirl Trail

Finally Connecting with the Showgirl Trail
 The lower elevations of the Spring Mountains were experiencing a day of slightly cooler temperatures than normal so nine hikers decided to explore the lower half of the Showgirl Trail. The Showgirl Trail is about 8 miles one way and runs from the Lucky Strike Road down to Kyle Canyon. To eliminate a point to point car shuttle, the lower portion of the trail can be made into a nice loop hike by starting at either the lower Telephone Canyon trailhead or from the BLM Fire Station Road. We parked at the former and hiked 0.7 miles up Telephone Canyon Road on a steady climb.

Showgirl Trail with La Madre Peak in Background
 At this point, we turned right onto a camp road then bushwhacked a little further until we ran into a well-defined trail coming down off of the little ridge up to the northwest.

Family of Joshua Trees
 We fumbled around a few minutes making sure that we had the right trail. Then, convinced we were on the Showgirl Trail, we headed downhill toward Kyle Canyon.

Trail Wiggles

Hiking Below the Wooden Pole Powerline Road
 The trail was obviously mainly a biking trail. It was somewhat rutted in places where bike tires had worn it down. But, it seemed to be high-time that a few hikers trekked the single track trail with fantastic views of every mountain around Kyle Canyon. During the course of the Showgirl Trail mileage, we were passed by four or five bikers as we wiggled our way in and out of the gullies on the hillside. About half way down the trail, we crossed the gravel forest road that gives access to the Wooden Pole Powerline Road.

More Joshua Tree Family Charm
 We noticed that the joshua trees living in this elevation had a tendency to clump. It was unusual looking. Like familes or fences.

Dropping Down Toward Kyle Canyon Road
 We descended at a good clip on the easy trail footing and gentle slopes. So, when we began our descent down into the wash just before Kyle Canyon Road, we noticed the increased steepness.

Conglomerate Sculpture on Trail

Dropping Down to Kyle Canyon Road
 The trail led down to the left and right of a large wash, passed a large conglomerate rock outcropping, then curved around to show us the paved road. In this area, a lighter trail turned off to the left. We learned later that there will be a continuance of the Showgirl Trail here that leads to the Twilight trailhead further down. As we watched a large jack rabbit hop/run his way across the gully in front of us, we dropped all the way down to a large culvert that tunneled under Kyle Canyon Road.

Nice Hikers' Tunnel
 We walked through the new tunnel without having to crouch at all. Graffiti already lined its walls.

Side of Road Parking for Lower Showgirl Trail Trailhead
 On the other side of the road, we walked on up to see where we should park when we wish to do this hike from the bottom up. The sign in the photo above is the only sign we saw. But, in recent weeks, we have noted cars parked at this area often.

Hiking Toward a Shaded Fletcher Peak

Trail and Access Forest Road Junction
 We returned to the conglomerate rock outcropping where there was a little shade and had our break. From there, we had to climb a little to reach a very comfortable ascent back to the access forest road that the trail  crosses. We turned to the left at the forest road and relived a recent too hot hike on this road. Luckily, this time, it was 20 degrees cooler! At the end of the road, we passed the BLM Fire Station and turned right onto another forest road that connects the fire station and the Telephone Canyon trailhead. Fast and new. Fun to learn new stuff!

7 miles; 1060 feet elevation gain; 3 hours

Michel Takes on the Steep Hill Challenge

BLM Fire Station

Turning onto the Forest Road Leading Back to the Cars

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