Monday, September 4, 2023

Ebb & Flow O&B - 9/3/23

Cloudy Sunrise on the Sandstone Bluffs

Clouds over the Sandstone Bluffs

Sunrise scene from Trailhead

Hiking the Ebb & Flow Trail
It was an absolutely beautiful morning at Red Rock Canyon NCA. The escarpment, aka Sandstone Bluffs, was in "full bloom" - so to speak - as the sun rose and the clouds crowned their summits. Ten club hikers began at a side-of-the-road trailhead across from the old Bonnie Springs entrance on SR 159. Although this is not an official trailhead, it is an easy way to climb up to the Ebb & Flow Trail in the middle of a 6 mile route. Starting from the Wheeler Camp Spring TH, hikers can climb up along the Ebb & Flow all the way to where it junctions with the Goatroper Trail, aka Flow Job. ... biker names ... Then, by using the Goatroper and/or Flow Job back down to the cars, this becomes an 11 mile hike.

Find Waldo, the Burro

The Ebb & Flow Trail

Outcrop on end of a Ridge

Rain soaked Red Barrel Cactus
So, we bushwhacked up the hill from the trailhead to junction with the Ebb & Flow and turned left. Very soon, we were being serenaded by a lone burro on the hill across the small canyon. When he realized that we were not a threat, he quieted down and continued on his way. We hiked in and out the small arroyos and canyons. We climbed to ridges and circled around to do more of the same. But, the supreme stars of the morning were the aforementioned views that changed slowly but often as the clouds floated by. They would cover the faces of the escarpment peaks and slither into the canyons between. The dance was entertaining. Along the trail, the red barrel cacti were turned bright red from the recent deluge of 2023.

Lettie takes note of a very large Red Barrel Cactus

Ebb & Flow to Indecision Peak

Break at Snack Gulley

Male tortoise Shell
At around 2.75 miles into the hike, we stopped at a gulley wash with rock seats presented. This was our turnaround point. We enjoyed the rest then returned to the cars. We hiked at pace due to the encroaching sun and heat that comes with it. It was a good workout. Although this trail is a one way (downhill) bike trail, we didn't see any bikers. The burro was gone when we returned to our first canyon. Then it was down the bushwhack hill, past the burro fence that Rick so kindly helped to pull back for us and into our cars. Great morning!

Stats: 5.5 miles; 900' gain; 3 hours

Returning toward the Spring Mountain Ranch SP

Clouds still hang over the Escarpment

Down approach ridge toward Cottonwood Valley

1 comment:

Kay Blackwell said...

Spectacular pictures from Ebb & Flo!