Sunday, February 11, 2024

Moenkopi Arch Loop - 2/11/24

Moenkopi Arch from Trail

Red Rock Canyon 

Las Vegas Strip on Super Bowl #58 morning 2024 (Dueling Pyramids)

Joshua Tree
For the high-energy, high-anxiety, high anticipation Super Bowl 58 day, Mike and I went out to the quiet unassuming Moenkopi Trailhead in Red Rock Canyon NCA. It was the perfectly planned calm before the storm. Yes, Super Bowl 58 was being held at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada! The Las Vegas Strip was teeming with helicopters and celebrities. The Strip, itself, was filling with onlookers. Yet, Mike and I had a nice relaxing 5 mile workout on bike trails that are often overlooked by hikers. Moenkopi Trailhead is located on the road that leads out to the Red Rock Campground. We parked and crossed the pavement to hike out into the desert where there are many bike trails criss-crossing through the sagebrush and arroyos. Our route took the first fork to the left, passed a cross trail to the right, and veered right to bushwhack up and down to the trail that runs along the base of the ridge in front of us. Behind, snow adorned the beautiful Red Rock mountains and redstone. 

Trail along the Hills

Trail down next to Wash

Moenkopi Arch

Red Barrel Cactus below arch Ridge
We followed the upper trail around the hills to our left and circled above a small ridge that holds Moenkopi Arch on our right. Passing the top end of the ridge, we followed the trail until it zigzagged down to a small cactus garden. Here, we left the trail to bushwhack down the hill to the wash below. A few large boulders offered seats for a small break. After our rest, we continued around the lower end of the arch ridge. We dropped into the wash and climbed up veering to the right. There are a few interesting easy scrambles before we found the bottom point of a trailing ridge on the left side of the wash. The trail climbed steeply up to an overlook point where we were at the same elevation as the arch seen across the wash below. Climbing a little higher, the route continued up. We were moving in a somewhat parallel line to the trail we hiked out on. Another couple of steepish hills and we were passing a very big cairn and connecting with our previous trail. We were returning on the previous trail for a short distance before our route turned to the left. Crossing the desert again, we, finally reached the junction with the beginning trail where we had veered left at a fork. We saw our car in the distance when we could tear our eyes away from the beauty of Red Rock in the snow!

Moenkopi Arch from Overlook

Mike climbing Trail to High Point

Red Rock Campground with Sandstone Bluffs Beyond
When I got home, I realized I got the image of two helicopters circling the stadium and the Strip in the photo of the dueling pyramids ... The Luxor Casino and Wilson Peak of Arizona. A nice hike at Red Rock for an exciting day downtown.

Stats: 5.3 miles; 700' gain; 2.5 hours

Turtlehead Peak and Kraft Mountain

Big Cairn on Trail

Discarded TV

1 comment:

Kay Blackwell said...

Looked like a beautiful morning.