Weiser Ridge and Weiser (Gypsum) Quarry

03/20/2014 - Another visit with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Senior Facility to Weiser Ridge and quarry in the Muddy Mountains off of the I-15, Exit 80.  Scroll down to the 03/20/2014 Trip Notes section below for a link to pictures and information on this latest visit.

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Exit 80 Map
Destination: Exit 80 I-15 – Weiser Ridge and Quarry
Distance from Point of Origin: 48 miles.
Estimated (One Way) Travel Time: 1 hour.
Directions: From the Stratosphere, turn right onto Las Vegas Blvd south. Go a little over a mile and turn right again onto W. Sahara Ave. Go 1.2 miles and reverse direction by making a U-Turn to head back east on W. Sahara Ave. Go .5 miles and turn left to merge onto I-15 N via the ramp on the left toward Salt Lake City. Travel about 38 miles till you see a sign marked Ute at Exit 80. Take this exit and head east. The road is paved most of the way except for a few ‘washed out’ areas. After following this road for about seven miles, it will dead-end at the locked gate shown in the picture above. Click the map above for details.

General Description: This is simply an old access road that passes through the California and the Weiser Ridge lines, that was used back in the day when there was an active gypsum mining operation here. As you can see from the satellite picture below, the geology here is quite varied and interesting. Some in our group have found it to be a good place to find rock samples with dendrite crystals.
Special Attraction or Points of Interest: About the only thing out here is a now defunct gypsum quarry site. If you hike past the quarry site you will be rewarded with some nice views of the northern end of the Valley of Fire, Overton and the Moapa Valley.
Primary Activity: Rock hounding.
Secondary Activities: Photography.

Elevation: 2,548 Feet.
Best Time To Visit: Accessible year-round, the best time to visit would be the cooler months of Spring and Fall.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Facilities: None.
Estimated Round-trip Time: 3-4 hours depending upon how much time you want to spend hiking, looking for rocks and taking pictures.

03/20/2014 Trip Notes: Even though this was my third visit to this area with the rock-hounds from Henderson's Senior Facility, I never seem to tire of its fascinating geology and the chance to find evidence of fossils. Click here to view pictures and info about this hike ... Weiser Ridge and Quarry - Trip Notes for 03/20/2014

03/29/2012 Trip Notes: Having been several months later than our last hike here, the weather was much nicer and warmer; sunny with only a few clouds and a temperature near 80 degrees. Bill actually made stops at three different locations to accommodate the interests of various members of the group. (Refer to the map above) The pictures below were taken from the hike Buster and I made along the north side of the road, looking south west.

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Not only is the overall geology of this place fascinating, but scouring its many ravines and washes will reward you with some excellent rock specimen's like the one shown on the right above, filled with the remains of fossil shells from the vast sea that once covered this area. There are also many good finds of dendrite, a crystal that develops with a typical multi-branching tree-like form, similar to the one that Buster and I found today, shown below. Click here to learn more ... Ferns or Pseudofossils.

Though it was still too early in the season to witness the bloom of the various plants and flowers one can normally find here, I was still able to find a few small examples that provided some beautiful color. For more on the Desert Marigold with the been in the top middle below, go to the page I added that I added titled ... Morning Starbucks Stop.

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Below are two of the best examples of lichens that I found today. I have always been fascinated by these living organisms and the variety of colors that they often present. Lichens rank among the least well known forms of life. They can be found covering rocks, soil, bark, etc. -- often forming brilliantly colored streaks. Their very structure is a symbioses of two organisms -- a fungus and algae. The yellow ones pictured here are probably what is know as Common Yolk Lichens (Acarospora spp.); the green ones are called Lecanora spp.
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All in all, it was just another great day of fun in the sun and hiking with rock-hounds from Henderson’s Heritage Park’s Senior Facility. I finished the day with this picture taken along the north side of the road on the hike out.

12/01/2011 Trip Notes: This was my first hike to this area with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park's Senior Facility. As you can feel from the two pictures below, that were taken as we hiked through a pass at the southern edge of the California Ridge line, the day was a overcast and rather cold. Even though the cliffs on either side of the pass somewhat protected us from the winds, once we got to the other side it was even more blustery.


Looking at the picture above, I hiked up the valley near the middle of the picture, between the two ridges.  After an elevation gain of several hundred feet through this valley the road split. Taking the road that lead to the left, I walked up probably another two hundred feet to the picture below. Unfortunate, even though the sky cleared somewhat, letting a little sunlight through, the wind became so strong that I had to head back.

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Even though winter is fast approaching, we were still able to find a few signs of life that appeared to be barely ‘hanging on’ as we hiked along the road leading to the old gypsum quarry.
I found these remains of some old barbed-wire fencing on the grounds of the old quarry site and decided that a black and white picture better emphasized the barbed wire than the one taken in color. For a stark contrast, the picture below was actually taken merely a hundred yards to the right of the picture above. It is looking east towards the northern end of the Valley of Fire.

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Slideshow Description:
The slideshow above contains 43 pictures that were taken at various visits to Weiser Ridge and the Weiser Quarry.