Saturday, October 24, 2015

Lunar Loop - 10/24/15

Cliff Trail above Kyle Canyon

Inner Wash

Drop into Large Wash
 Lunar Loop is a new hike for the club that starts from the Twilight Trailhead located around 9 miles up Kyle Canyon Road on the right. This parking lot used to be where paid for horse rides commenced. Now the trailhead, located within the Red Rock Canyon NCA, is used primarily for bikers and individual equestrian adventures. The Lunar Loop is only the second hike, (the first is Grapevine Springs of Kyle Canyon), for the club that uses this trailhead. The Lunar Loop consists of the combination of two smaller loops, Inner Wash Loop and Hilltop Loop. Today, twenty-four hikers arrived to be introduced to the new area.

Climbing Out of Large Wash
Nineteen of those hikers wished to only do the Inner Wash Loop section of the hike. The remaining five ladies continued on to include the Hilltop Loop.

Cliff Trail above Kyle Canyon Road

Dicey Dip
 We dropped down into the large wash below and realized right away that the recent rains had left the trail in disarray. Nevertheless, we found the Twilight Zone trail that climbs up the hill out of the wash and soon forked to the left to stay on the trail that leads along the cliff edge. We had a wide open view of the Spring Mountains ahead of us. Charleston Peak was still covered with a dusting of snow on its north side. We dipped down to cross a "feeder wash" then found ourselves at the Lucky Strike Road parking area.

State of Lucky Strike Road just above Kyle Canyon Road
 When we took a peek down the road toward Kyle Canyon Road, we saw that the dirt road was impassable at this time due to a deep rutted washout. We kept our course finding the trail continuation across the road.

 At approximately 1.6 miles into the hike, there is a "crack wash" that flows down the sandy cliff to the left. Here is where we turned to our right for a very short bushwhack heading ENE to Lucky Strike Road.

Old Road along Wide Wash

Hiking the Old Road
 Again, we kept a straight course and found an old road that leads along the edge of a very wide wash on the left. The wash is part of the Kyle Canyon alluvial fan. We followed the old road until it junctioned with a very worn trail that crossed perpendicular to our path. This is the Twilight Zone trail again. We turned to the right and began hiking this trail finding that it, also, was very washed out. We hiked on the earth next to the trail since the trail was filled with loose rocks until we passed a place where the water had run off.

Passing a Wash on Twilight Zone
 The Twilight Zone passes two large washes and we were obliged to hike the dips. At the bottom of the third large dip, we turned to the left. This is the Inner Wash.

Twilight Zone Trail with Hilltop in Background

Breaking at the Beginning of Inner Wash
 We sat here for a break and afterwards, the writer's camera ran out of battery. Sorry. The last two photos were taken on the Lunar Loop's pre-hike last month. At the end of the Inner Wash, we junctioned with the large wash where most of the group turned to the right and climbed back up to the cars. The remaining hikers turned left to find the start of the Hilltop Loop. Our hike around the hill was beautiful and gave us the workout we needed. Next time we do this hike, there will be plenty of charge in the camera batteries!

Inner Wash Loop: 4.5 miles; 500 feet elevation gain; 3 hours

Lunar Loop: 6 miles; 900 feet elevation gain; 3.75 hours

View from Backside of Hilltop Loop

View from High Point of Hilltop Loop

No comments: