Saturday, February 9, 2019

Moenkopi / Calico I Loop - 2/9/19

Seabed Limestone on Moenkopi Hill

Calico Sandstone view at Calico I Overlook

Starting out through the Memory Garden

A Hardy and Hearty Bunch
The Moenkopi Formation is a geological formation that is spread across the U.S. states of New Mexico, northern Arizona, Nevada, southeastern California, eastern Utah and western Colorado.~ Wikipedia

The age of the Moenkopi Formation ranges from the early Triassic to the middle Triassic period. (approx. 240 million years ago) The Moenkopi Formation generally contains thinly bedded mudstones and sandstones with a wide variety of ripple marks and some trace fossils. Secondary gypsum veins cut through the formation. The Moenkopi formation can contain localized fossils, but most exposures are devoid of fossils. Actual bone is even more rare. During the initial deposition of the Moenkopi, the climate was hot and dry. Then during later members, it progressively got wetter.  It was deposited due to tidal, and also nearshore, shallow marine, and some floodplain. ~ ACADEMY FOR MATH, ENGINEERING & SCIENCE, 5715 South 1300 East Salt Lake City, UT, 

Climbing Red Rock Canyon's Moenkopi Formation
 The Moenkopi Trail of Red Rock Canyon NCA is rather short (~2 miles), however, it affords beautiful views of the area that include the Sandstone Bluffs and the Calico Hills.

View from Moenkopi Hill
 To make the hike long enough for the club, a simple addition of Calico I Overlook was made by nine hikers this morning.

Turtlehead Peak and Northern Calico Hills

And, a very Stylish Bunch
 Our club doesn't delve into the harsher weather that the areas surrounding Las Vegas offer very often. But, today's weather was just tame enough for us to go out and enjoy the morning. It was cold to start but there was little wind until later in the hike. We did enjoy a small amount of snow/sleet and saw the tiny frozen balls lie still on the trail at our feet while we hiked out from the Visitor Center toward Moenkopi Hill. As we climbed the hill on the path of moenkopi layer limestone, fog was rising up from the peaks to stop just above them. Colors were accentuated.

What a Backdrop!
 We headed over to the Scenic Loop and Calico I Overlook. The sky appeared less threatening in that direction. We saw Susan M. at Calico I!

Crossing the Scenic Loop
 After a restroom stop, we hiked down to the sandstone below the parking lot to take our break. We were completely out of the wind there. Angie took time to play on the rocks!

Weather over the La Madre Mountains

Arriving at Calico I Turnout
 The remaining part of the hike went rather quickly. Even though this was supposed to be a slow hike, today's participants preferred stepping up the pace to get out of the cold wind! When we reached the cars back at the Visitor Center, the wind had picked up enough that the warmth of the car was inviting. Nevertheless, we all enjoyed the rare beauty of snowy weather at Red Rock and were very happy to have come out for the short hike.

3.3 miles; 450 feet elevation gain; 1.75 hours; average speed 1.5 mph

Taking a Break at the Calico I Overlook

Hiking Grand Circle Trail to Fee Booth

Almost back to Visitor Center

1 comment:

Kay Blackwell said...

Your photos are spectacular! Happy to look at them as all I had was my phone, and somehow they always come out as DELETE! Thanks for the honorable mention of running into me at Calico I. Susan M.