Saturday, February 4, 2017

Painted Pinnacles O&B (Valley of Fire SP) - 2/4/17

Painted Pinnacles

Descent Wash

Passing Silica Dome

Dropping into Wash
 The Painted Pinnacles were put on the map by Brian Dodd in 2010. This Valley of Fire State Park landmark is truly a sight to behold! Fifteen hikers parked at the Fire Canyon Trailhead at the base of Silica Dome and started out the trail that turns off to the left from the Silica Dome side of the parking lot. This trail connects with the old dirt road that actually begins at the restrooms in the parking lot. We followed the road a little ways then turned off to the right to cross on a desert trail to another road.

Descending Gentle Wash
 Here, we connected with a trail that dropped us down next to a very small deep wash. This wash, in turn, connected with a medium sized gentle sandy wash.

Wash Color

Small Crossover Wash
 We followed this wash down, down, down until we junctioned with another small wash that turned us to the right. We could see Baseline Mesa in front of us and we knew that the Painted Pinnacles were at the base of Baseline Mesa over to the right. So, we took the small wash up to that area. We missed the trail that climbs up to the overlook but it was interesting how we found our way back over the rocks to the overlook.

First View of Painted Pinnacles
 Regardless, the oohs and ahhs that were heard as we climbed over the rocks were a reward for the coordinator! Absolutely gorgeous!

Four Hikers in Awe

Painted Pinnacles
 For our return, we took the trail down to the small wash then followed that to the old dirt road that we could see in the distance. We climbed the hill to the left on the road all the way back to the trailhead using Silica Dome as our landmark. The short 3 miles were worth the effort when tacked on to another hike in the park. This hike can also be done in a couple of different longer loops.

3 miles; 400 feet elevation gain; 1.75 hours

Trail down to Small Crossover Wash

Old Dirt Road Return

Trail to Left or Old Road to Right ... Your Choice

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