Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Blue Diamond Bike Trails - 1/10/17

Cottonball Barrel Cacti near Bike Trails

Spanish Trail Marker

Red Rock Escarpment from Rock Ridge

Starting Up from the Upper Trailhead
 Although there are several bike trails that wind around the ridges behind the small community of Blue Diamond, Nevada, there is one particular route that the club refers to as the Blue Diamond Bike Trails. These days, the bikers have named the major trail of this route the Hurl Trail! Okay. So fourteen hikers converged at the trailhead located just across the bridge going into Blue Diamond on the right side of the road. We used to begin at the upper trailhead in the back of the community, however, the Blue Diamond residents have made it clear that they prefer we start down below.

Paralleling Highway 160
 No problem. In fact, we like going by the restrooms nearby. So we crossed the ball field, waited at the restrooms, then continued up through town passing the small grocery store with the mural on it.

Turning onto Hurl Trail
 At the upper trailhead, we dropped down on the left side and began climbing the Old Spanish Trail. This historical trail ran from New Mexico to Los Angeles in the early 1800's. There is a marker alongside the trail.

Climbing up to Ridge

Trail passing Cave Alcove
 We stopped by the marker for a wardrobe change. It was a cool morning but no wind. Our outer layers were not necessary. Continuing up the trail, we turned the corner to the right and paralleled Highway 160 for a little ways. Then, after climbing over a little hill, we came to the Hurl Trail junction. Here, we turned right onto the trail that wiggles up the side of the hill to gain the ridge above. Our pace was moderate with stops every so often.

South end of Escarpment from Bike Trails
 The Hurl Trail runs along the top of the ridge getting higher and higher. The scenery up there is wide and beautiful. We could see everything from Mt. Potosi to the Calico Hills after we wound around a little more.

Hiking out to Rock Ridge
 The trail continued climbing gently until we passed by a trail junction for the Hurl Backdoor. This is unsigned on the left.

The Sandstone Outcropping

Dennis sits at the Tip End of Rock Ridge
 After this junction, we started our descent. Soon, we passed by the only sandstone outcropping of the day. Many times, we have stopped here for our break but, today, we continued over to the Rock Ridge. We turned to our left onto the ridge peninsula and hiked out to the end of it where there are a lot of rocks to sit on and a 360 degree view. The wind was cooperating so we enjoyed the leisurely break. Afterwards, we gathered our things and returned to the trail.

The Group Breaks on Rock Ridge
 We curved around descending steeply to a trail junction and turned to the right. This put us on the Inner Hurl!

Dropping down to Inner Hurl Trail
 The Inner Hurl runs on the south side of this little canyon putting us in the shade for much of this section.

The Inner Hurl Trail

A Ground Squirrel on Limestone
 We didn't see any burros on the trail today but a few hikers had seen them near Highway 159 on the way to the trailhead. We did, however, see a ground squirrel! Anyway, at the end of the Inner Hurl, we dropped back toward Blue Diamond, crossed over to the upper trailhead and hiked back through the town. It was a very pleasant relaxed hike for everyone.

6 miles; 1000 feet elevation gain; 3 hours

Hiking the Inner Hurl

Dropping down to Upper Trailhead

Hiking through Blue Diamond back to Cars

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