Thursday

Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area

On 05/07/2013 I made yet another attempt with my friend Harvey Smith to visit the Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area.  Even though we got further into this area than on any of our previous three visits, and got to explore more than a half dozen abandoned mines, we still only just barely reached the southern end of the Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area boundary. Click the following link to view notes and pictures of today’s visit ... 05/07/2013 Update - Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area.

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(Fig. 01)
Ireteba Peaks Cover
            
Directions - Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area
                 
MAP-Ireteba Peak Range
(Fig. 02) Click to Enlarge
05/02/2013 Trip Notes: Even though this is the third time the rock-hounds have visited this location, we have yet to even reach the southern boundaries of the Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area. Refer to the map in (Fig. 02). Due to the travel limitations of our van, all of our hiking has been inside the boundaries of the LMRA. Again we parked at the intersection of Indigo Road (#37), about 2.5 miles in from Cottonwood Cove Road (NV-164). Refer to (Fig. 02). As seen in (Fig. 01), this entire lower desert bajada area is covered with hundreds of barrel cactus and thousands of “ground creeping” Cholla cacti. Compared to a Saguaro cactus which may live to 150-200 years, the lifespan of the Cholla cacti tend to be less than 20 years, which may explain why we saw so many dead trunks (Fig. 03) scattered throughout the area. Though hikers headed off in various directions, some down Indigo Road, some down Rockefeller Road, and some into the wash that paralleled the road; all returned far short of the allotted time due to the strong winds which made the hiking rather un-enjoyable.
  
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(Fig. 03) Cholla Graveyard

11/17/2011 Trip Notes: On this, our second attempt to reach the Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area by approaching from the Eastern side, again our attempt resulted in failure. Approaching from Cottonwood Cove Road, we entered the light-green shaded area of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.  As you can see from the notation in (Fig. 02) we parked at the intersection of Indigo Road, still miles from the base of the Ireteba range. Having hiked two miles down Rockefeller Road, I captured the picture in (Fig. 04) looking northwest. The two peaks in the first (reddish) ridge-line behind the dark volcanic mound iin the foreground on the left are called Copper Mountain East. The next, (purplish) ridge-line that stretches across the center of the pictures is the Dupont Mountain range. The high distant (grayish) range beyond that, just right of center, is the southern end of the Ireteba Peaks range. Click on the picture to enlarge. From the same spot, turning and looking eastward (Fig. 05) you get a glimpse of the Lake Mojave (e.g. the Colorado River). On the way out we walked along the upper edge of a wash that paralleled the road and found two rocks (Figs. 06 & 07) containing pictographs.
    
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(Fig. 04)
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(Fig. 05)
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(Fig. 06)
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(Fig. 07)

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(Fig. 08)
10/27/2011Trip Notes: An Internet page I found noted, “a 4WD is not needed to get here, but a high clearance vehicle is.” As can be expected, this statement depends upon the weather over the previous days. On today’s trip the road was so washed out from last week’s rains, that we were only able to travel less than three-quarters of the way, leaving us about a mile and a half short of the ‘guzzler’ at the end of the road, and far short of the base of the range and any chance of climbing up Ireteba Peaks. From what you can see from the map in (Fig. 08) above, Ireteba Peaks is rather long ‘range’ that runs north and south. Even after hiking nearly a mile towards the Ireteba range, we were still quite some distance (Fig. 09) from actually being able to climb up into the mountains. Needless to say picture taking opportunities were rather sparse. We did find dozens of very large holes, apparently the  homes of the desert tortoise that are known to frequent this area. These underground burrows allow these tortoise to escape the heat and live through ground temperatures that may exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months and freezing temperatures during winter. Because this is the time of year (November through February or March) when they become dormant and the fact that they spend nearly 95% of their life underground, we did not find any roaming about on today's hike. Maybe better luck next time. After we left this area we traveled to Keyhole Canyon, where we had much better luck with pictures and rock hounding.
 
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(Fig. 09)
I thought I knew what this plant (Fig. 10) was from a distance, however once I got closer and saw its flower I wasn't sure. After some research, I think it might be a Paper Flower (Psilostrophe cooperi), a flowering plant in the daisy family known by the common names Cooper's paper daisy and Whitestem paperflower. It is native to the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of California, the Southwestern United States, and northwestern Mexico.
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(Fig. 10)