Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Upper Kyle Canyon Wash - 9/8/15

South Loop from Old Golf Course Area

Old Fencing

Kyle Drainage

Starting from Echo Trailhead
 The hike down the upper part of Kyle Canyon wash has changed a lot in three years. The campgrounds have been upgraded. Drainage from occasional monsoon downpours has been improved. And, best of all, a real trail has been made all the way down from the Echo Trailhead to the new visitor center albeit dirt, gravel, paved, or shredded bark. The rabbitbrush is in bloom and everything was colored yellow when ten hikers drove up to the Spring Mountains NRA for one of very few downhill strolls laid out in the park.

Cathedral Rock
 We parked at the Echo Trailhead and followed a trail at the end of the parking area that led around to the drainage under the road bridge.

Kyle Canyon Road Bridge
 After ducking under the low hanging bridge, we climbed the trail then dropped off of the trail to make a visit over to a mysterious little building.

Going Over to Little Building

 The mysterious little building was well-made and had bars within the window hole. Interesting. We returned to the trail above and made our way down to the small community of Old Town. The route took us right through the middle of the year round residential houses. We were serenaded by several barking dogs. The dogs looked like they could do the job of guard dog very well. In fact, one dog's rope stopped right at the road. Guess how we knew that!

Iron Skier
 There were several residents enjoying the morning outside and they all waved hello. Mike L. tried to bum some breakfast off of a couple of them!

Old Town
 At the end of the road, the elementary school was still open. There has been a little talk about closing it. We took the very short nature walking path behind it then went on our way.

Nature Walk

Golden Trail
 Next, the trail passed by the Rainbow Loop junction. Rainbow Loop is still off limits since the forest fire of the summer of 2013. But, it was nice to lay eyes again on the beginning of the climb up the hill. Rainbow was just around the corner. From there, we began the old hike along the deep drainage to our left. Much of this was the same as before except that the old swing is no longer there. We could also tell that the drainage was washed out under the bank.

New Drainage Moat
 We hiked through the campgrounds. There were many spaces vacant since this is the day after Labor Day. The restrooms we usually use were locked but we found some later that were open for business.

Acastus Trailhead Sign
 The new Fletcher Canyon restrooms were unlocked ... finally. And, the restrooms in the next campground actually had flush toilets!

Paved Acastus Trail

New Campground Bridges
 We stopped for rest several times throughout the hike and there was an ongoing discussion about the club's recent trip to Hawaii. The temperatures were just right in the shade. We passed the Acastus Trail sign at the Fletcher Canyon bridge and this trail turned out to be paved. It led us through the next campground, past the gate and the group campground, then we connected with the Kyle Wash Trail. In the past, this part of the hike was done in the wash itself. Now, there is an excellent trail to follow down through the old golf course area.

Hiking Through a Campground
 There were nice views from this trail and several interpretive signs had been erected along the path.

Kyle Wash Trailhead
 There are also benches placed here and there. We took our time and enjoyed views in every direction.

Kyle Wash Trail

Hiking Through Old Golf Course Area
 When we started hiking through the old golf course area, we found ourselves on the old golf cart path. The path led us past the Mt. Charleston Hotel and on to the central area below the visitor center that used to be the golf course pond. Now, the pond has been filled in and they have planted trees there. To finish the hike, the hill must be climbed up to the visitor center. We retrieved the cars from the trailhead for this point to point hike and went home happy.

5 miles; 137 feet elevation gain; 1046 feet elevation loss; 2.25 hours

Old Golf Course Remnants

Escarpment and Cart Paths from Visitor Center

Spring Mountains Gateway Visitor Center

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