Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Conglomerate Gardens - 1/3/17

Clouded Rainbow Peak from North Blue Diamond Hill

Yucca and Conglomerate

Clouded Calico Hills from North Blue Diamond Hill

Climbing up to the Tip Off
 Geez Louise! It was a cold morning! Nevertheless, ten hikers started up the trail in the North Blue Diamond Hills and warmed up. The Conglomerate Gardens Loop (aka Kibbles 'n' Bits) begins by climbing up the west side of the hills for two miles. It reaches the mining property then turns to the right. The remaining four miles are mostly downhill but extremely wiggly. Sure, you can cut the trail but ... why? We began hiking on the trail to the right after passing through the gate at the Cowboy Trails parking lot. A good rule of thumb for the directions of this route is keep right every time you come to a fork in the first two miles.

Trail Up
 Our pace had slowed to a moderate beat but one hiker was having some issues. When we hiked past the second of these forks, we turned around and found that we were missing three hikers.

Starting Down
 It surprised us since they were there at the last stop and we had slowed down. Three hikers dispersed to search for them.

Precambrian Fossils

Precambrian Fossils
 We found two of the three returning to the car in the distance. Okay, we can lose 1 out of 10, right? There were two possibilities. Since they were hiking together before, we thought it was possible that they were still hiking together. Or, the one hiker took a wrong turn and would end up returning to the trailhead anyway since these trails are fairly simple to navigate. Yeah, I know. Radios. Simple communication among the group would also help. In this case, all involved were veteran hikers and only slight worries entered our minds. Onward.

Following the Winding Trail
 At the top of the 2 miles, we turned to the right before the trail continued into the mining property and immediately started down.

Cactus Barrels and Conglomerate Deposits
 It is a wonderful trail that uses rock as well as dirt to show the way. Bikers have used white rock whenever possible to mark the trail. Otherwise, cairns or lined rock is used.

Rest Area among Conglomerate Rock

The Zoo
 The trail climbs up one time on the way back taking hikers through a large garden of conglomerate boulders where we took our break. Afterwards, we continued the winding path all the way back to the cars where there was a note waiting for us explaining the absence of those three hikers. All was well and we didn't have to send out a search party! It never did warm up like the forecast said it would but we were warm with the exertion! Good exercise!

6.4 miles; 1000 feet elevation gain; 3.25 hours

Well Marked Trail over Rock

Trail drops down toward Highway

Beautiful Desert

No comments: