Saturday, June 29, 2019

Stanley B Mine & Springs - 6/29/19

The Stanley B Mine

Mining Claim just below Mine

Spring over Rock

Scramble up Wash
 Stanley B Mine & Spring begins off of Kyle Canyon Road. The trailhead turnout is the first one on the right after you pass the green "Rainbow Subdivision" sign that is also on the right going uphill. It is a large turnout and a wash flows into the back of it. The trail begins by climbing up onto the embankment of the wash on the left side. There are a couple of ways to do this and we chose both! We were eight hikers strong this morning for the easy moderate hike. This hike is easy because of the short distance and it is moderate because of the climb and little bit of semi-scrambling. The scrambling is located inside this wash as we wound our way up to where the wash crosses the old mine access road. Our pace was slow and no one was in a hurry. We just wanted to enjoy the wilderness, gimpiness and all! When everyone gathered at the road, we turned to the right and started up the road/trail. I must have been asleep or something because I tried to turn left onto the next small trail too soon. After backtracking in the brush for about 20 feet, we returned to the road/trail and hiked further up the hill.

Gathering in the Wash
 The small trail actually turns left at the top of the first hill. We found it and began the well used shortcut.

Starting up the Little Trail
 Soon, the small trail junctioned with the road/trail again and we turned left. From here, the climb stays on the road/trail until the forked junction where the mining claim sign is hung high on a large tree.

Griffith Peak from Stanley B Trail

The Old Mining Road Trail
 As we hiked up, we found the water flowing to our left at a little waterfall where old pipes crossed the brush. Then, just before we reached the forked junction, a couple of us dropped down to see a beautiful waterfall. (See the next photo.) Climbing up from the waterfall, we noticed an old rusted bed spring. Most of us took the side trip to the left fork to see the pipe spring. The water flows right down the path and you have to cross over two fallen trees. Coming back, we found a path without water but there are still the trees to contend with. Next, we climbed up the right fork ... in the water ... to view the old grated up mine and have a break. Spring water flows out from the mine.

Waterfall in the Brush
 There were no buzzing bees here this time. It was a very pleasant break then we started down the slippery waterway. Be very careful on the rock slab seen above in the third photo.

Rita climbs over Logs in Water to Pipe Spring
 No one fell today, but we were all very careful. At the forked junction, we gathered again then started back down the road/trail.

Gayle climbs up Water to Mine

Alan steps Carefully
 The return route follows the mine access road/trail all the way down to Kyle Canyon Road. We passed other hikers on their way up. The views across Kyle Canyon of the South Loop ridge and Griffith & Harris Peaks are beautiful. We also saw the Echo Cliffs but Cathedral Rock was just beyond an intermittent ridge. We followed the same road down past the small trail junction, past the wash junction, then down until we passed under or around the old bar gate. Here, we turned left onto the paved road and hiked down the left side of the road in single file to the trailhead. We all had a fun and relaxing time in the forest this morning. Great folks!

2.5 miles; 650 feet elevation gain; 2 hours; average moving speed 1.2 mph

Fun Hikers!

Following Old Mining Road down to Paved Road across from Rainbow

Passing gate just before Paved Road

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Few Days at Zion NP (a photo essay) - 6/22/19 thru 6/24/19

The Watchman Trail - Prince's Plume flowers in front of the Watchman

The West Temple from the Watchman Trail

The Watchman Overlook
 I wanted to share with you our trip to Zion NP, the fourth busiest national park in the United States. The beauty of this park is unsurpassed by any other and the hiking opportunities are legendary. During the trip, members of our group did the Watchman Trail, the Lower Emerald Pools Trail, Weeping Rock, Canyon Overlook, Pine Canyon, Zion Narrows with the Riverwalk, Pa'rus Trail, tubing down the Virgin River, Angel's Landing and part of the West Rim. The Observation Point, Hidden Canyon, and Kayenta Trail were closed due to rockfalls but the Narrows opened two days after we got there and John took 4 family members up the uncharted territory of the new season. He reported that it was somewhat deeper than the past couple of years and had several logs in new places. They also saw one log floating downstream! Hmm. But, they had a blast! There is a bit of road construction going on in town and, after a rocky start, they have the signals working efficiently now for traffic. The first shuttle leaves the Visitor Center at 6am and we took advantage of that for the Angel's Landing hike. There were still a lot of hikers but with the opening of the Narrows, Angel's Landing had quieted down a little bit. I hope you will enjoy the photos!

The Watchman Trail Descent

Emerald Pools Bridge - Down the Virgin River at the Zion Lodge

The Canyon Overlook Trail

Hiking the Canyon Overlook Trail with the Fam

Canyon Overlook Trail - Yes, that's the trail!

Zion Canyon Overlook

Teaching the Kids how to negotiate the Sandstone

The Swimming Hole in Pine Canyon

On an Island in the ... Virgin River

John starts the Zion Narrows Hike

The Pa'rus Trail - Downstream

The Pa'rus Trail - Upstream

Angel's Landing Trail - Beginning

Scout's Lookout

John and Pam (sister-in-law) on Walter's Wiggles

Angel's Landing / West Rim Trail

Waiting for the Shuttle - Angel's Landing in Background

Contemplating the Properties, Strategies and Uses of Cold Water

Friday, June 21, 2019

Hidden Falls & Mary Jane Falls - 6/20/19

Lower Hidden Falls

Mary Jane Falls

Old T-Bar Lift Ruin

View up Hidden Falls Canyon from T-Bar Ruin
There is a little known waterfall in Kyle Canyon of the Spring Mountains NRA that flows during snow melt season. This year, 2019, it is flowing big time down from the South Loop ridge. Dubbed "Hidden Falls" because it is tucked within two descending limestone ridges, the waterfall can only be viewed in its last 300 feet as a whole. The entire waterfall is perhaps around 1300 feet tall - over half of the height of Yosemite Falls! Woohoo! 😃Anyway, I was so excited about going to see this beautiful waterfall for the first time that I forgot the most important thing ... my camera! Never fear, I had my trusty phone camera.

Morning Wake-Up Call on T-Bar Slope
Twelve hikers parked at the lower end of the Trail Canyon Trailhead and crossed the dirt road below. Following the empty space to the right of the utility buildings, we found an old very steep gravel trail heading up the ridge. (Good morning, folks!)

Group crossing over to Other Side of Wash
We huffed and puffed up the hill and arrived at the top where the trail will continue into the Hidden Falls Canyon. Here, there is an old rusted piece of equipment. That steep trail was once an old T-Bar lift slope. There is a small old ski slope nearby. (Circa ?1930-50?)

Best Trail on Right Side of Wash

Crossing Creek before Falls
We followed the trail down into the canyon and up next to the wash. There wasn't too much brush to deal with until we came to a fork in the trail. After trying the left fork on the left side of the wash (since there was a cairn there ... ) we decided that the right fork was the better trail. Stay right! The falls are visible from the curve in the canyon. There are some steep little hills along the way but the climb really isn't too bad. Nearing the base of the falls, we had to cross over to the left side of the creek. Some of us went up the middle of the shallow water. The waterfall is running strong and presents a beautiful multi-level drop. Many photos were taken!

Lower Hidden Falls with Xiang and Mike
A little bit of snow still covered the sides of the base but it was easily avoided. We finally turned to go down. This time, we stayed on the north side of the canyon all the way to the short climb up to the old T-Bar equipment.

Kyle Canyon from Descent
There, at the ruin, we noticed a small trail leading diagonally northeast down the hill. This would be a much better way to descend than the steep treacherous gravel of the T-Bar slope.

Waiting for Hikers to Negotiate the Steep Trail

Hiking up Wash to Mary Jane Falls Trailhead
So, we followed the small trail down where it passed the old ski slope and finally reached the wash below. Gathering again, we turned left to hike up the wide wash to the Mary Jane Falls / Big Falls Trailhead and restroom. After a short pit stop, we started up the approach trail for the two familiar waterfalls. Not too far up the trail, we saw two mule deer. It's always pleasant to see gentle wildlife. We hiked up to the log junction slowly but deliberately - resting for what was to come! Over the log, we started up the old road/trail. This is the historic trail for Mary Jane Falls. It is very steep and laborious, good for a complete workout!

Mule Deer on Mary Jane Falls Trail
There are several fallen trees across the trail requiring hikers to go around them to add insult to injury on the steep climb! Then, the very last stretch up the water drainage area is just about all you can do!

Approach Trail to Mary Jane Falls
Once up on the terrace below the waterfall(s), we were able to take a break and enjoy the surrounding beauty. The "corner drainage" waterfall was flowing stronger than I have ever witnessed!

Climbing the Very Steep Old Road/Trail to Mary Jane Falls

Almost There
The day was a Thursday so our early hour helped when it came to crowds. Mary Jane Falls is a very popular hike for most Las Vegan recreationalists. Remember this if you wish to do this hike on a weekend day. However, this morning, there were only around ten other hikers sitting around the large area and we were able to walk around and take photos at will. It was decided to omit the optional short hike over to the Mary Jane Cave. But, we enjoyed viewing Kyle Canyon and Big Falls from the Mary Jane lookout and sitting among the waterfalls' spray at the base of the rocks. Very cool! Several of the twelve hikers today do not get to see this waterfall every year since many moderately strenuous and strenuous hikes bypass the populated area. So, with the extra water flow, everyone enjoyed the visit then we were on our way down. The descent was accomplished along the switchbacks of the "new" trail. Even though the switchback section is showing a lot of wear and tear, it is still a much more gentle way to see Mary Jane Falls!

Mary Jane Falls - High Flow at Corner 
As we switchbacked our way down, we passed more and more recreationalists. Couples, families, camp kids and dogs of all sizes. Looked like we just missed the crowd!

Corner Spray at Mary Jane Falls
We love to see hikers of all sorts out and enjoying nature. And, in Las Vegas, there are a lot of them!

Big Falls as seen from Mary Jane Falls

Kyle Canyon from Mary Jane Falls
I made sure that all the hikers in the group made it down the switchbacks and then down the approach trail. We started off together again from the Mary Jane Falls Trailhead. Our first thought was to return via the road until a couple of cars passed stirring up the dust! We dropped into the woods on the right at the end of the parking lot and following a very vague trail back to the cars. People have done this before! It's much more pleasant. Everyone enjoyed the short and hard workout. This is a great group!

4.5 miles; 2150 feet elevation gain; 3.25 hours

Descending the Switchbacks

Starting down the Approach Trail

Nearing the Trailhead after taking Woods Trail