Monday

Daytrip - Rainbow Vista Hike at Valley of Fire

Click to enlarge
On 09/09/2016, Bob Croke, Ron Ziance and myself headed out to Valley of Fire to start the first of our end of summer hikes. If you drive a short distance north from the Trailhead for these two trails, you will get a great view of the valley known as Rainbow Vista. One of the big surprises of the day was the spotting of eight Desert Bighorn Sheep grazing along the side of the road. Click here for pictures and a description of this hike ... Rainbow Vista & Fire Canyon Hikes at Valley of Fire.

Daytrip - Cold Creek Spring Hike

Click to enlarge
On 09/13/2016 I went to Cold Creek with the Rockhounds from the Henderson Senior Center. Unfortunately, even though is was a beautiful sunny day, the winds were gusting up to 45 mph making hiking very difficult. Today we droveout Cold Creek Road, past the upper pond in search of the Cold Creek Spring. Following a portion of the "creek" off this road, we eventually hiked to an area that appeared like the spring. Check here for pictures and a description of this area ... Cold Creek Spring Hike.

Thursday

Delamar Nevada - 09/23/2016 Trip Notes

 {Click on an image to enlarge, then use the back button to return to this page}
This page last updated on 04/13/2017

(Fig. 01

(Fig. 02)




Directions: At a major junction beyond the town of Alamo, stay to the right on U.S. 93 (the Great Basin Highway) heading toward Caliente. About 42 miles from Alamo, watch for a  blue State of Nevada Historical Marker #90 and the marked turn onto Delamar Road on the right side of the highway (Fig. 01). Head south on this good graded dirt road along a power line for about 10 miles, until it branches off east toward the Delamar Range and the ghost town (Fig. 02). Follow this for another 4 miles to the base of the sage-covered hills and you will come to the Delamar graveyard on the right side of the road. Continue the road to the right, up and around the mountain for another 2 miles to the mining ghost town of Delamar. For more info on the history of Delamar, visit the page on my first trip ... Delamar Ghost Town - Summary Page
                          
(Fig. 03)

09/23/2016 Trip Notes:  The last time Harvey and I visited Delamar, back in June of 2012, we only had his pickup truck. On today's visit, accompanied by our friend Bob Croke, we decided to take Harvey's 4WD Ranger. Shortly after the turnoff at the highway, we spotted several wild horses (Figs. 04 & 05). Harvey was even able to get within just a few feet of them to take a few pictures. About nine miles out we took a wrong turn (see Fig. 02). When we got to the end of this dead-end we did find a series of large wooden cattle corrals (Figs. 06 & 07). Next, there were several cows taking refuge near a man-made watering hole that we had past on our previous visit (Fig. 08). Our final stop before reaching Delamar was at the site of the Delamar cemetery (see Fig. 02), where we unloaded the Ranger and left the truck. While Harvey unloaded the Ranger, Bob and I toured the forlorn cemetery. Its boundaries marked by a sometimes broken down wire fence, inside there were a variety of headstones, monuments and ornate metal fences delineating some of the graves and family plots. Sadly, it appears that vandals and the natural elements have inflicted considerable damage over the years (Fig. 09). We then headed up and over the adjacent hill toward the town. (Notes con't below)
                                 
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
Trip Notes Continued: After rounding the next hill the small opera house that was located on the outskirts of town came into view at the bottom of a short downgrade (Fig. 10). Around the next corner the remains of the old ore processing mill site (Fig. 11) came into view. Around the corner from here there are the foundation remains of more than two dozen homes (Fig. 12) built on the side of the hill that looked up to the site of the town's primary mining operation near the top of the hill to a huge digging known as the "Glory Hole" (Fig. 13). Also see (Fig. 02). Some of these remains were connected side by side like an apartment complex. After hiking around and exploring the foundations of these homes, we found a steep road (see Fig. 03) that switched back and forth up the hill to the mine at the top of the mountain (Fig. 14). Following this road to the very top we discovered a stone building that was still in pretty good shape. The only thing missing was the roof, doors and windows. We thought that it may have belonged to the mining company instead of a private resident. From the very top we were also able to look down into yet another large excavation that had evidence of a "vein" on either end that may have been what the miners may have been chasing (Fig. 16). On the way back down I captured a view looking down onto the town (Fig. 17). (Notes con't below)
                                       
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)
(Fig. 15)
(Fig.16)


(Fig. 17)


Trips Notes Continued: After retreating down the mountain to the town's main road, we turned left and headed to the northeast (Fig. 03). This led us to yet another large two story stone building (Figs. 18 & 19), and a grouping of foundations and a tailing pile that appeared that it may have been the original mill operation site (Figs. 20 & 21). From here we turned around and headed southwest back down the town's "main drag". We examined the remains of one of the town's banks, and a couple of old safes (Figs. 22 & 23). Giving us a view looking back at the whole town, the last couple of structures at the end of this road is where we stopped and had lunch (Fig. 24). After lunch we hiked the remainder of the road to the top of a hill that provided a beautiful view west out over the Dealmar Valley (Fig. 25). For the day we spent more than 4.5 hours traveling or hiking a total 20.8 miles one way. I couldn't believe how much more we saw on this trip that Harvey and I had not explored on our previous visit. Our sincere thanks for Harvey Smith meeting us and taking us on this wonderful trip. Also my thanks to Bob Croke for providing the maps shown above.
                                                   
(Fig.18)
(Fig. 19
(Fig. 20)

(Fig. 21)

(Fig. 23)

(Fig. 24)
(Fig. 24)
(Fig. 25)
Back to previous page ... Delamar Ghost Town - Summary Page

Lovell Canyon Trail - 09/15/2016 Trip Notes

 {Click on an image to enlarge, then use the back button to return to this page}
This page last updated on 04/13/2017

(Fig. 01)


Directions:  To reach Lovell Canyon, from the Stratospere on Las Vegas Strip, take the I-15 to Blue Diamond Road (SR-160 aka Pahrump Highway). Head west on SR-160 for 24 miles, passing the turn to Red Rock Canyon, Cottonwood Valley, and the town of Mountain Springs. About 3 miles west of Mountain Spring Summit, watch for highway signs and a right turn onto Lovell Canyon Road. Lovell Canyon Road is a paved road that dead-ends at the Torino Ranch, about 11 miles out. Take a left onto a dirt road (FS Road 536) and go about half mile to the parking area for the Lovell Canyon Traillhead and parking area (Fig. 02).
                              
(Fig. 02)
Area Description: Lovell Canyon Road and the Lovell Canyon Trailhead and Hike are located inside of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area on the west side of the Spring Mountains. It is an 11-mile ride from highway NV-160 to the trailhead. From the highway it is a elevation gain of 1,277 feet to 5,929 feet at the Trailhead. There is roughly a 300 foot gain in elevation to the intersection and start of the trail loop. Due to this wide range in elevation, there is a wide array of "life-zones". From sagebrush and Joshua Trees on the lower elevations, Pinyon Juniper and forests of Ponderosa pine and other coniferous trees in the mid-elevations. In the upper treeline elevations you begin to see Bristlecone Pines - the world's oldest living organisms. Depending upon the season, if you are lucky, you may encounter deer, elk, wild horses, bobcats, desert bighorn sheep, and a variety of birds, chipmunks and butterflies.
                                      
09/15/2016 Trip Notes:  It was a beautiful clear, sunny day in the low 80's. Today the Rockhounds from the Henderson Senion Center filled the van with quite a few people who hadn't been here before. Taking our time, we made plenty of stops along the trail (Fig. 03) to the junction of the "loop" (Fig. 02). Because this was my fourth or visit to this area, I didn't take a lot of pictures. For more pictures from previous hikes, go to ... (Lovell Canyon Trailhead and Trail - Summary Page).  However from the description above and the picture in (Fig. 01) you can see that there are some outstanding views of the west side of the Spring Mountain from this trail. If you look closely at the mountains on the left side of (Fig. 01), you will notice that all of the trees on the mountain side are dead, the result of the Carpenter Fire in 2013. Due to the elevation gains, and the fact that this was one of our first hikes of the season, many of us were "out of shape" and only hiked the 1.6 miles to the Loop Junction on (Fig. 02). The pictures in (Figs.05 thru 08) are views taken from the trail after we reached the ridge-line.
                                   
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
Click here to go to the ... Summary page for the Lovell Canyon Trail

Cold Creek Spring Hike

{Click on an image to enlarge, then use the back button to return to this page}

(Fig. 01)




(Fig. 02)
Directions: From the Stratosphere Casino head northeast on Las Vegas Blvd about 3 miles and turn left onto US-93-95, keeping on the left for US-95 North towards Reno. Following US-95 North towards the Mt. Charleston area, drive 36 miles, past SR-156, the turn to Mt. Charleston (Kyle Canyon Rd.) and past SR-156 (Lee Canyon), and head as if driving to Indian Springs. Look for a small green sign on the freeway for Cold Creek (approx. 5 miles past Lee Canyon Ski Area Turnoff). Turn west of the freeway onto Cold Creek Road (SR-172) and drive up the mountain past the prisons (State, Federal, work camps) toward the town of Cold Creek (approx. 13 miles). When you reach the small upper pond (Fig. 01), continue on Cold Creek Road by turning right (Fig. 02). At this junction, the paved road that heads further up into town turns into Cedar Road. From the turn drive .07 miles (green) to the point on (Fig. 02) indicating where we parked. Begin here to walk to the spring.
                               
09/13/2016 Trip Notes: Unfortunately, even though is was a beautiful sunny day, the winds were gusting up to 45 mph. The only thing that saved us was that the wash of the creek was somewhat protected by high banks on both sides.  Only three of us decided to venture up the creek bed. The first quarter mile of the creek bed was totally dry. Then all of a sudden water appeared and was flowing at a pretty good clip. The picture in (Fig. 03) shows Bob and Mary as we hike up the creek bed. The further we walked, the more water we encountered (Figs. 04, 05, 06). Sometimes we walked in the water, sometimes we walked some of the trails that were on both side of the wash of the creek. The remainder of hikers either hiked nearby the van or stayed inside the van. To give you an idea of how windy it was, when we reached a somewhat open area, I placed my foot on a large rock to bend down and tie my shoe; I was blown totally over by the winds. (Con't below)

(Fig. 03
(Fig.04)

(Fig. 05)

(Fig. 06)
Trip Notes Continued: The further we hiked the wider the creek became and the thicker the plants, brush and trees surrounding the creek became (Figs. 07 & 08). Also, we began to encounter more plants and vegetation (Fig. 09). As we got to the end we encountered an area that seemed to be where the spring was coming from (Figs. 11 & 12). Unfortunately, we were unable to venture any further because we had run out of time and had to return to the van. If you study the blue lines on the map in (Fig. 02), indicating Cold Creek, it seems to split here; one traveling due north, the path we hiked and another direction heading northeast towards the ponds. As a result, I am looking forward to a return trip in the future to investigate some more. The final two pictures (Figs. 13 & 14) were taken on the way back to the van and the parking area.

SIDE NOTE: Interestingly, we never saw a wild horse the whole time we were in the area, either today or on my last visit. I have learned that over the past year, the BLM rounded up more than 200 horses and has already euthanized 28 wild horses during the roundup in Cold Creek. They estimate more than 400 wild horses live in the area. They started the emergency roundup last year, saying the horses "are in very poor condition" because of the drought. They list a "poor prognosis for recovery" as the reason for the 28 euthanizations.

(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)


(Fig. 14)

Return to [Cold Creek and the Bonanza Trailhead - Summary Page]

Rainbow Vista & Fire Canyon Overlook Trails - Summary Page

{Click on any image to view full size, then use the back button on your browser to return to this page}
This page last updated on 05/20/2017



Directions: If you arrive from the east, from the intersection of Route 169 and 167 near Lake Mead, drive west on the Valley of Fire Highway for two miles to the park’s east entrance. Then drive another 3.3 miles to the intersection of the the start of White Domes Road in front of the park's Visitor Center. Turn right off the main Valley of Fire road and go a tenth of a mile and bear left to stay on White Domes Road, bypassing the visitor center. Drive another 1.8 miles to the Rainbow Vista Trailhead (Fig. 02), which is on the right 0.7 miles after the Petroglyph Canyon Trailhead. To reach the park from the west from Las Vegas, take Interstate 15 north for about 35 miles to exit 75 (signs for Valley of Fire State Park and Lake Mead National Recreation Area). At the end of the off-ramp, go southeast on Valley of Fire Highway. After 14.5 miles you reach the park’s west entrance. Drive another 3.5 miles and turn left, following a sign for the visitor center and Mouse’s Tank.
                          
(Fig. 02)


(Fig. 02)






Hike DescriptionMy later research of this area has revealed that there seem to be two trails here; the Rainbow Vista loop trail, and a continuing trail referred to as either the Fire Canyon or Fire Canyon Overlook Trail. Veering to the left from the trailhead, you end up going through a large wide open sandy area, you come to a junction. Turning left takes you to the Rainbow Vista loop trail. This trail takes you up about 75 feet to the high-point of the hike; a viewpoint on a crest that provides some outstanding views. Heading slightly to the right at the junction, the trail ends at Fire Canyon Overlook, which presents views over the sandstone-covered landscapes to the south and east. Hiking both of these trails is about 1.5 miles with a elevation change of 150 feet.

05/18/2017 Trip Notes:  Today, Bob Croke, Blake Smith and I headed to Valley of Fire to hike the Rainbow Vista and Fire Canyon Overlook trails. It was a beautiful day in the low 80's with just a slight breeze. This time we hiked the Rainbow Vista trail that we had originally missed on our first visit back in 2016. Along with some great vistas, we got some nice pictures of horses, bighorn sheep, and lizards. Click her for pictures and a description of this hike ... Rainbow Vista & Fire Canyon Overlook Hike - Trip Notes for 05/18/2017.

09/09/2016 Trip NotesOn this day, Bob Croke, Ron Ziance and myself headed out to Valley of Fire to start the first of our end of summer hikes. If you drive a short distance north from the Trailhead for these two trails, you will get a great view of the valley known as Rainbow Vista (Fig. 01). If you look in the opposite direction, south from the parking lot, you get the view in (Fig. 02). The big surprise of the day was the spotting of eight Desert Bighorn Sheep grazing along the side of the road (Fig. 03). After getting off a couple of shots (Fig. 04), they decided to cross the road and climb up the hillside on the opposite side of the road (Fig. 05). In all my previous visits to this park, this is only the third time I seen any bighorns, and both the other sightings were only one or two at a time. Our hike description continues below (scroll down).
                           
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
Hike continued: When leaving from the Rainbow Vista parking lot, the beginning of the trail is not very well marked. In fact the first marker had been knocked over and buried into the sand. Having not been here before, and not researched very well, we turned to the right, heading southeast. Though this appeared to be a well-worn path with hundreds of footprints in the sand, it was a misleading spur that dead-ended in a boxed canyon (Fig. 06). Obviously this direction had led many hikers to blow past the real trail and march up into this same dead end canyon. Working our way back from the boxed canyon Bob found a trail marker that pointed east towards Fire Canyon Overlook. Unfortunately, this was already east of the Vista Trail junction, causing us to miss the main 'Vista' trail. From here we headed down the sandy, rocky Fire Canyon trail that was surrounded on both sides with high red sandstone, patina covered cliffs (Figs. 07 through 09). Just before reaching the end of the trail, there was a small arch carved into one of the sandstone outcrops. I let Bob and Ron hike ahead while I climbed up the hillside so I could capture a picture of them through the opening (Fig. 10). Finally we reached the Fire Canyon Overlook and the end of the trail (Fig. 11). Standing on the edge of the rocky cliff, there was about a 100 foot drop looking down into the Fire Canyon Wash (Fig. 12 & 13). As we turned and headed back up the trail, you could see the opening of the small arch in the picture (Fig 14) from which I captured their picture in (Fig. 10). On the way back up the trail the sun was signing on the tan sandstone on the top of the red sandstone cliff-side on the north side of the trail (Fig. 15). When we finally got back to the actual junction of the two trails, we met some people who had just hiked up to the high point of the Rainbow Vista loop trail, but we decided that by then it was getting too hot for us to attempt it today. From what I have read, this portion of the trail had some of the best vistas and view of Rainbow Valley and the Silica Dome. We will definitely try this again on a future visit.
                           
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)

(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)
(Fig. 15)
The End