Saturday, December 10, 2016

Peak 3844 Loop - 12/10/16

Approach to Peak 3844

Yucca in front of Calico Hills

Red Barrel in front of Turtlehead

Climbing the Ridge out of Wash Trailhead
 Only the third time that the club has done this peak, we discussed at length whether it was 3488 or 3844! The proof was in the puddin'! It most certainly is Peak 3844! Eighteen hikers arrived at the trailhead located about half a mile out Calico Basin Road where a sandy, gravel wash crosses and trails disperse hikers, bikers and horse riders into the surrounding terrain. The first order of business was a lengthy climb up a ridge. We took it very slow with a few stops. This made the climb relatively easy.

Nevermore, Nevermore
 Large ravens, three or four, were flying around over the ridge. One perched possessively on a dried mojave yucca until we got too close. (Then he found another yucca.)

Still Climbing the Ridge
 It was a gorgeous day and we enjoyed the morning sun shining on the color of the Calico Hills and Kraft Mountain. The chill in the air was short lived and we were actually warm by the end of the hike.

Starting down from the Ridge

Red Barrels covering the South Side
 After finally reaching the high point of the ridge, we turned to our right and followed this trail down across a land bridge. This trail crossed two more trails then we began the final climb up to the small peak that we had been able to see from the beginning. We circled around observing a huge display of red barrel cacti covering the south facing landscape. The wide views of Red Rock Canyon never stopped. We could also see the North Blue Diamond Hill.

Approaching the Small Peak
 When we reached the summit ridge, we started hearing gunshots from the nearby shooting range.

Kraft Mountain from Summit Ridge
 On the left side of the summit ridge, three intricate cairns had been built. These cairns are large enough to be seen from the road below.

Peak 3844 Summit

Descending from Peak
 We climbed on up to the peak and took in the views as we had our snack break. Checking the elevation, it was exactly 3844 feet above sea level. We could see Las Vegas ... sort of ... along with everything else at Red Rock Canyon. There was a large amount of haze over the city so we could barely see the buildings today. After our break, we descended from the peak, passed the fancy cairns then came to a right turn in the trail. We took this route for the loop return.

Intricate Cairns and a Jerry Cairn
 This trail went over a little hump then descended down to the bottom of the hill where we junctioned with a trail and turned right. This trail followed along the side of a gravel wash ... not in the gravel wash.

Las Vegas covered with Haze
 We saw horse and riders plus bikers using a few of the trails nearby. We tried not to notice the powerlines running not far away. Probably for the residents of Calico Basin.

Looping around on the Trail

A Cave Dwelling
 We looked up to see the cairns where we had been on the summit ridge and also saw a large "residential(?)" cave in the cliff underneath. After using the shadow tool in Photoshop, the writer could not see anyone visible in the cave. We finished our circle around the base of Peak 3844 then turned to our left to go over a small hill and return to the trailhead. Very enjoyable and relaxed hike with tons of conversation.

4 miles; 650 feet elevation gain; 2.5 hours

Peak 3844 from Below

Circling around the Peak

Over the Last Hill

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