Daytrip – Bridge Canyon Wilderness Area – AKA Grapevine Canyon

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The Bridge Canyon Wilderness Area, located in the rugged Newberry Mountains, is a small 7,761 acre wilderness with elevations rising to 5,600 feet. It is contained within the boundaries of the southern area of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. It is bordered by Hwy 163, Christmas Tree Pass road and the Spirit Mountain Wilderness Area. It is home to Grapevine Canyon, one of Nevada's premier rock art sites, and Sacatone Wash, also know for it petroglyphs. There are also several caves in the area that may have provided temporary shelter many hundreds of years ago.

Bridge Canyon Wilderness Area is characterized by steep canyons, large and rugged granite boulders and numerous springs and seeps that provide water to plants and wildlife in the area. Most vegetation in the area is typical creosote bush, catclaw, mesquite, desert scrub oak and yucca. The bottoms of Sacatone and Grapevine Washes also support stands of cottonwood. Grapevine Canyon also supports cattails, rushes and canyon grape. In this area is one of the northernmost populations of smoke tree. In the higher elevations you'll find scattered stands of juniper and pinon pine. While hiking this area you may come across coyote, bighorn sheep, mule deer, side-blotched lizard, western chuckwalla, desert tortoise and several species of rattlesnake.

02/09/2012 Trip Notes: The rock hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park Senior Facility spent the majority of the day hiking Grapevine Canyon, Sacatone Wash and around some of the areas’ huge monolithic-like granite outcrops.  

The Granite Outcrops: We started with a hike around a large grouping of granite outcrops and older metamorphic rocks located at the southeast corner of the Bridge Canyon Wilderness Area. These granites date from about 1.4 billion years ago and the metamorphic rocks are composed of gneiss and schist's that date from about 1.7 billion years ago. These rock formations are generally separated by natural faults.
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During our hiking around the monolithic like rock formations we seemed to be confronted with many that reminded us of various images. Top left (a turtle with its head protruding from its shell), top right (an elephants head and trunk), bottom right (various skull like resemblances).
Sacatone Wash: On our way to Grapevine Canyon we stopped for a brief hike along Sacatone Wash. While some walked the wash, some of us hiked along the base of the mountain ridges all the way to Grapevine Canyon. Though I don’t think anyone from our group walked far enough up this wash, I have learned from some Internet research that a longer hike here may provide some petroglyph sighting's.  The picture below is a view of the ridge line above the wash.
Grapevine Canyon: This being my fourth trip to Grapevine Canyon, I have captured nearly all of its outstanding petroglyphs as well as having hiked up three quarters of its length. As a result, I really didn’t get very many new photographs on today’s visit. I did find one rock face high up that contained a few faint petroglyphs that I had missed on previous visits. I also got a picture of a Western Chukwalla that several people in our group also spotted high up on a ledge.
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I also got a picture (below) of a Western Chukwalla that several people in our group spotted high up on a ledge. The chuckwalla, a large (up to 16 or more inches) lizard related to the iguana. To learn more about the chuckwalla go my page ... Western Chuckwalla (Sauromalus obesus).
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Click the following links to read about and view additional images, a slide-show and petroglyph pictures from previous hikes to Grapevine Canyon.  Grapevine Canyon; Grapevine Canyon Petroglyphs; More Grapevine Canyon Petroglyphs.

Link to Spirit Mountain Wilderness Area ... Daytrip - Spirit Mountain Wilderness Area.