Monday, October 9, 2017

Badger Pass / Techno Loop - 10/9/17

Mt. Potosi from Bird Spring Range

View Back toward Calico Hills

Moon over Badger Pass Loop

Heading out into the Bird Spring Range
 The Bird Spring Thrust is a geologic formation in Nevada that preserves fossils that date back to the Carboniferous and Permian eras. The thrust is not contained in Red Rock Canyon NCA but generally runs north south parallel to the Sandstone Bluffs in the form of the North Blue Diamond Hills south into Cottonwood Valley. The hills of this thrust formation that are parallel to Mt. Potosi are the location for today's hike. We refer to this area as the Bird Spring Range. There are many bike trails in Cottonwood Valley and six hikers saw several bikers on our route today.

Hiking Badger Trail
 The temperature had dropped an average of almost fifteen degrees last night and the wind was still blowing a little. However, we were comfortably dressed.

South Cottonwood Valley Desert Terrain
 We parked at the Late Night Trailhead on Highway 160 and started our hike by passing under the highway through a concrete culvert.

Mt. Potosi Beyond

Bike Trail Signs
 Today's route can also be referred to as the Badger Pass Loop but there is a long loop and a short loop. To prevent confusion, we'll leave the Badger Pass Loop name for the short 4 mile version that begins at the Badger Pass Trailhead. The 6.5 mile hike we did today utilizes two bike trails called the Badger Trail and the Techno Trail. We were hiking out the Badger Trail as we wound our way through the small valley between the hills of the Bird Spring Range. Small trail signs built low to the ground informed us of the correct turns to make and when we came to the first sign that said "Techno," we followed it.

 This trail took us past the beginning of the short Badger Pass Loop. We climbed up through the rimrock to the high point on this trail.

Cottonwood Valley from the Techno Trail
 After the high point, we dropped down to the official Badger Pass and had our break. We were out of the wind here.

Heading down to Badger Pass

'Tis the Season for Tarantulas
 When we arrived at the pass, one hiker spotted a large dark colored tarantula making its way across the desert terrain. This reminded us that the tarantula mating season is upon us! There will likely be more sightings to come in the next month. After our nice break on the warm soil, we took a left turn at the trail junction. We were now back on the Badger Trail. This trail runs the length of the small beautiful desert valley. So many photos to be taken on this gorgeous albeit breezy day!

The Group at Badger Pass
 Conversation among the hikers continued as we made way for several more passing bikers.

Starting back on the Badger Trail
 There are no fossils to be found in this valley. They are usually found up on the ridges of rimrock.

Red Rock Escarpment from Badger Trail

Winding around Hills
 We passed a couple more trail signs on the way back. The first signed intersection was Techno & Badger. This was where our route started its return on the trail on which we had begun. Still beautiful but, this time, our views were of the nearing red rock of the escarpment (Sandstone Bluffs) and Calico Hills. When we got back to the highway, there was a truck spraying seed and fertilizer on the shoulder of the road. (See the green stuff in the culvert photo below!) This is a very nice desert hike without a lot of elevation gain. Probably would be good for trail running.

6.5 miles; 900 feet elevation gain; 3.25 hours


Calico Hills Ahead

Back under the Culvert Pass

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