Saturday, February 4, 2017

Three Slots (Valley of Fire State Park) - 2/4/17

Slot near Fire Wave

Beautiful Wash

Fire Wave and Wave Wall Area

Little Columns
 The Three Slots Trail in the Valley of Fire begins at the Parking #2 Trailhead. Seventeen hikers started out to the east from here. There is a trail in the sand which we followed straight out to a "road" of red and white sandstone. Here, we followed the sandstone toward the Rock of Gibraltar in the distance. As we hiked, we passed many thin fragile fins coming out from the sandstone.

Starting Out from Parking #2 Trailhead
 Many of these fins have been broken by careless hikers. We sure footedly stepped over or around these features.

Following the Sandstone
 We followed the colorful sandstone approaching a wash but staying parallel to it.

Dropping into Main Wash

Within Fin Section
 Finally, we dropped into the main wash and turned to the right. After passing about three cracks to the left of us, we turned left up into one. This put us right at the Fire Wave. We took our group photo here then continued hiking up and over to the Wave Wall. Here, we climbed the wash that encircles the Wave Wall. Turning left near the top, we climbed up and over the Pink & Yellow Hill. This dropped us into the main wash again.

Group Photo at the Fire Wave
 We turned right in the wash and began hiking through one of the curvy slots for which this hike is named.

Climbing up the Pink & Yellow Hill
 In our past two excursions in this area, this slot was flooded with water. Today, it was flooded with sand!

Back in Wash from Pink & Yellow Hill

Hiking through Slot
 We crossed the road and continued going up the wash where there were a couple more nice slots to go through. Then, we found ourselves at the movie set down the hill from the White Domes Trailhead. We talked about the movie a little and spoke about the scene where the horses were coming out of the tall slot that we were about to enter. We passed through the tall slot and continued past the White Domes Trail that turns to the right here.

Passing by Movie Set at White Domes
 Next, we came to the Prospect Trail junction. None of us had used this trail and we knew it went where we wanted to go so we hung a left.

Prospect Trail Junction
 The trail is not marked here but it is fairly easy to follow the footsteps of those that came before us. The trail started out simply but then we came to a bit of a scramble.

Elephant Arch on Prospect Trail

Prospect Trail
 One of our hikers stumbled on the scramble and we stopped for our break while he got patched up. After this, the trail headed straight for the Eye of the Iguana. This landmark indicates the Beautiful Wash turn. We hiked down this wash then turned to the right just before the pour over. The route follows above a deep canyon to the left then continues out to circle around the hill. And, there are the cars! Beautiful day. Beautiful hike.

4 miles; 500 feet elevation gain; 2.75 hours

Dick's Scramble

Climbing out of Beautiful Wash

Following Trail around Corner

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