|Snow on the Trail - Snow covered Spring Mountains|
|Mt. Potosi rises above Desert|
|Spring Mountains in November|
|Starting up the Trail|
Snow covered the Spring Mountains in the past two days. It also dusted the highest peaks of the Red Rock Canyon NCA escarpment. So, when nine hikers drove up to the Mountain Springs Pass Trailhead, we didn't really know what to expect. It was the Saturday before Thanksgiving and the construction workers were not gumming up the works on SR 160 over the pass. We freely drove up the road and entered the trailhead parking lot among the pine trees. Yep. Snow. In fact, a family came in as we were getting ready and began making a snowman! We started up the trail that led to the radio tower and, soon, turned to the left onto a shortcut trail that led over to another old road that is now a trail.
|Dusted Mt. Potosi|
We were hiking in snow that was between 1 and 3 inches in depth. The snow didn't cover the ground entirely but there was enough to make the landscape beautiful and unusual for this area.
When we looked behind us, we saw that Mt. Potosi was also covered with a snow dusting.
|Elk Tracks in the Snow|
|Careful on the Downhill|
We hiked on up the old road and started looking for an easy way to cross the wash to our left. Instead, the wash got deeper and deeper and snowier and snowier. Finally, we found a place that worked okay. On the other side, we found another old road and followed it down to a trailhead area where there was a large pick-up truck parked. We continued down the road to the right and followed it down to the agave roasting pit area. But, before we made it all the way there, one of our hikers who was lagging behind was scanning the ridge about half a mile away. Lo and behold, (the season for these words), we saw an elk outlined on the ridge. It was so far away that it was difficult to get a photo without camera shake getting involved.
|Meanwhile, waayyy up yonder on the ridge!|
It wasn't until I got home that I saw the photo and realized that we had been looking at a group of four elks! Wow! This is a very unusual sighting for this area although evidence of them is always around.
|The Most Pristine Agave Roasting Pit under Snow|
We hiked on down the road following what could be elk prints, or maybe burro prints also, and circled around to one of the agave roasting pits. This was the most pristine of them all and, today, it was covered with snow, barely recognizable!
|Following Mountain Springs Trail|
|Finding the Jalopy in the Marsh|
On up the road and around, I guessed at where the trail was located and found it in the snow. That trail brought us to the Mountain Springs Trail. This trail was much easier to decipher. We followed the trail over until we reached a large wash before a steep hill climb. We turned left and followed the wash down to another trail junction that I also had to guess at. Next, we kind of roamed around until we saw our snack rock that was untouched by the snow. We sat for our break and then moved on. The trail was easy to find from here and we passed the old piece of junk jalopy in the marsh. The nearby spring was full of water. Next, it was somewhat difficult again to find the trail.
I think that sometimes we were on the trail and sometimes we were not. Nevertheless, we found our way over to the large cave-rock and went up for a group photo.
|Trail, Tracks and View|
From there, we continued out to Rainbow Springs Road to turn left. Someone had already driven in the snow out toward Rainbow Springs.
|The Group at the Cave|
We passed the springs up above Mountain Springs, NV and took note of the amazing winter postcard views of the little town. Next, we took the regular route back to the cars. Absolutely beautiful day! A snow hike just like I like it! Not too strenuous. By the time we almost got back to the cars, the snow was drip drip dripping. It won't be there much longer until we have our next round of snow in a couple more days. Weird weather = great photos! Glad we didn't stay home ... again!
3.5 miles; 500 feet elevation gain; 2.75 hours
Thank you to all the animals that kept the trails alive with prints!
|A Postcard View of Mountain Springs, Nevada|
|The Most Familiar Agave Roasting Pit of the Area|
|On the Way Back|