Thursday, July 7, 2016

No Name Loop CCW - 7/7/16


Upper Bristlecone Trail

South Sister from Bristlecone Trail

Upper Bristlecone Trailhead
 The Upper Bristlecone Trailhead in the Spring Mountains NRA is located at the very end of Lee Canyon Road. Also there, is the heliport. Do not park on the heliport area! Seventeen hikers parked at the trailhead and began a very pleasant trek up the trail between the fences. These fences were erected in 2008 or 2009 for the purpose of protecting the Mt. Charleston Blue Butterfly that only lives in the Spring Mountains where they feed on milk vetch; a low growing plant with purple flowers.

Upper Bristlecone Trail
 The coordinator directed us to ascend at our own pace on the familiar beautiful trail. Even so, most of us regathered at the regular landmarks of No Name junction and Bonanza junction.

Gaining a Little Altitude
 Today's route of the No Name Loop would be done in the non-traditional direction of counter-clockwise. Up Bristlecone, up Bonanza, then down No Name and down Bristlecone.

Nearing the Overlook Corner

Nearing the Bonanza Trail Junction
It was a beautiful day with great weather. Wildflowers grow all summer in the mountains to add a little color to the landscape. As we circled around the contour of the hill to our left, South Sister rose up in the near distance. The line of hikers didn't separate much even though we had a small range of levels attending. No one was in too much of a hurry!

Bonanza Trail / Bristlecone Trail Junction
 When we reached the Bonanza Trail junction, we regathered then headed up the switchbacks by taking a left turn off of Bristlecone Trail.

Bonanza Trail Switchbacks
 Most of us maintained a nice slow and steady pace up the hill.

Bonanza Trail / No Name Trail Junction

Taking a Break in the Trees
 At the next saddle, we stopped for our break. Here is where there is a wilderness sign and several logs lining the trail. This is also the trail junction for No Name Trail that is found turning off to a sharp left. The park service, or someone, has done their best to redirect errant hikers from taking this trail since it is not an official park trail. However, it is one of the most beautiful trails in the Spring Mountains due to the old growth of bristlecone trees.

Hiking the No Name Trail
 "Krumholtz" Bristlecone is translated from German roughly as "crooked wood." And, there is a lot of krumholtz going on here.

Jack stands in Front of Charleston Peak
 After turning onto No Name Trail, Charleston Peak could be seen as we hiked the easy traverse over to another saddle area.

Nearing the No Name Saddle

Fun on the Steep No Name Descent
 From the No Name Saddle, the route started down on a steep trailed slope. The trail follows a wash for most of the way then dives into a dense forest before coming out on the Upper Bristlecone Trail where we passed earlier. Here, one mile from the trailhead, we turned to the right and returned to the cars. Very pleasant day in the mountains.

5.5 miles; 1200 feet elevation gain; 2.75 hours

No Name Trail / Bristlecone Trail Junction

A Little Switchback on Upper Bristlecone Trail

Wild Horses feeding on the Ski Slopes

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