Friday, October 2, 2015

Little Bald Knoll - 10/2/15

Griffith Peak (center) from Little Bald Knoll

La Madre Range from Showgirl Trail

Wooden Bridge on Hike a Bike Trail

Moon Over Mummy
 'Tis a shame that there were only four hikers to enjoy this absolutely beautiful day in the Spring Mountains NRA on an interesting trail that is pretty new to the club. We parked at the Pixie Trailhead turnout that is the next turnout after Robbers' Roost going up the hill on Deer Creek Road. We carefully managed to drop down to the Hike a Bike Trail where we turned left onto a wooded trail. The air was fresh and cool to start off but we warmed up quickly. Staying on the Hike a Bike Trail, we climbed up to the overlook turn off. We went down to take in the view. This area of trails is scheduled to be "decommissioned" soon.

First Break
 We climbed back up and connected with the Camp Trail and used it to drop down to junction with the Showgirl Trail coming in from the direction of its trailhead on Angel Peak Road. At the junction, we turned to the right.

Overlook View

Showgirl Junction
 We followed the Showgirl Trail and turned onto the bypass trail that heads over to a bald saddle area. This junction is seen in the photo to the right. However, it seems that this part of the Showgirl Trail is also scheduled to be "decommissioned" according to the map posted at the Pixie Trailhead turnout. It is difficult to understand what they have in mind for this junction but it IS clear that the "Missing Link Trail," as mentioned in a previous entry, is the actual Showgirl Trail that is yet to be completed. (See the photo of the map at the bottom of this entry.) Next, we passed the saddle and continued on an easy trail that follows the top of the ridge heading toward Kyle Canyon.

Angel Peak & SMYC from Showgirl Trail
 After around a mile, the trail starts descending a little more rapidly. It switchbacks down to cross a deep wash then rises again.

Showgirl Trail
 We studied the wash thinking that it would be a good place to build a trail down to the bottom but we don't think this is what they have in mind.

Taking a Break at Large Wash Area

Arriving at Little Bald Knoll
 We climbed a little and hiked out on an intermediary ridge toward Little Bald Knoll, a small knoll that the trail crosses over top. There are a few low growth trees on the knoll but the views on all sides are readily accessible. It appears that this is a favorite place for the deer as we observed markings in the sand. We sat here taking in the views while munching a snack. Perhaps we stayed a little longer than normal. The cooler weather is so so welcome.

View from Little Bald Knoll
 We began our hike back up the ridge and discovered a shortcut trail that allowed us to skip the whole "switchback through the deep wash" bit. Yep. This is another trail that will be "decommissioned."

Mummy's Toe from Return on Showgirl Trail

An Abundance of Textures
 The shortcut trail removed a large part of the steeper ascent. The remainder of the ascent was a pleasant gradual climb. The views continued to take our breath away. Sometimes we just stopped to look. When we got back to the bald saddle area, we turned to the left and returned to the Hike a Bike Trail a shorter way. We junctioned with this trail and turned left to return to the cars. This hike was food for the soul. - (P.S. A hike straight out to Little Bald Knoll and back from the Pixie TH would be a little less than 6 miles.)

7 miles; 1200 feet elevation gain; 4 hours

Conquering the Bike Jump

Return on the Hike a Bike Trail

Climbing Back up to Cars

Map Posted at the Pixie Trailhead (Red * Indicates Pixie TH)

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