Friday

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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
 
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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.

Wednesday

Redstone Loop Trail


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Destination: Redstone Loop Trail at the Redstone Picnic area.
Distance from Point of Origin: 65 miles.
Estimated (One Way) Travel Time: One hour and 30 minutes.
Directions: The location for this hike is northeast of Las Vegas along Northshore Road in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. From the Stratosphere Casino head northeast on Las Vegas Blvd about 3 miles and turn right to merge onto US-93/95. Go 12.5 miles and Merge onto NV-564 E/W Lake Mead Pkwy via Exit 61B. Heading east on NV-564 (Lake Mead Blvd) go over the mountains (passing between Frenchman Mountain to the south and Sunrise Mountain to the north) to the park entrance station. Pay the entrance fee ($5 per car or an annual pass), and proceed to the T-intersection with Northshore Road (NV Rt 167) and Lakeshore Road (NV Rt 166). Bear left and drive north on Northshore Road (NV 167) for 27 miles to the Redstone Picnic area, which is located at Mile Marker 27. Pull into the picnic area parking lot. Park here; this is the trailhead.

General Description: This is a scenic area where the bright red sandstone outcrops contrast with the gray limestone mountains. This is short 1.6 mile walk is a loop that ends back at the trailhead. It surrounds several red sandstone outcroppings that are reminiscent of those found at Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon. There are several other outcrops in the area, and the views in all directions are spectacular.
Special Attraction or Points of Interest: About a third of the way around the outcrops you will come upon a small arch that makes for some nice picture taking.
Primary Activity: Hiking.
Secondary Activities: Photographing and Rock-hounding.

Elevation: 2,238 – 2,300 feet
Best Time To Visit: Available for visitation and hiking year round, the best time to make this hike would be in the cooler months of Fall, Winter and Spring.
Difficulty: Easy. By itself, this hike would be disappointing as a day’s destination point. This is a short trail that makes a nice stop if you are driving by or through the area; a good place to stop with out-of-town visitors who don't have the time to take a longer hike.
Facilities: There are two bathrooms along the way. Both are pit toilets but well kept.
Estimated Round-trip Time: Four to five hours.
More info on the Redstone Loop TrailRedstone Loop Trail 




03/14/2012 Trip Notes: We stopped here with my sister Bonnie and her husband on our way to the Valley of Fire State Park. Paul just loved the rock formations and snapped away non-stop for nearly 40 minutes. Additional pictures to those shown below were added to the slideshow at the bottom of the page. SPECIAL NOTE: I was sad to see that the tree in the picture below titled "Lone Survivor" that was taken on a previous trip appeared to be trampled to death and no longer exists.

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01/20/2011 Trip Notes: I visited the Redstone Loop Trail for the second time on 01/20/2011 on a daytrip with the rock hounds from the Heritage Park Senior Facility. Though I had stopped here before to take pictures from the road, this was the first time I took the time to walk the trail and found it quite interesting.

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The slideshow below is designed to run automatically in place. Clicking anywhere in the black background area that surrounds the picture being shown will PAUSE the show and bring up the Pause, Forward and Back menu at the bottom of the slideshow window, allowing you to start, stop or manually forward pictures one at a time.

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Slideshow Description: This slideshow contains 30 pictures taken at various points along the Redstone Loop Trail.

Rogers Spring


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Destination: Rogers Spring.
Distance from Point of Origin: 54 miles.
Estimated (One Way) Travel Time: 1-1/4 hours.
Directions: The location for this popular picnic area is northeast of Las Vegas along the Northshore Road in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. From the Stratosphere Casino head northeast on Las Vegas Blvd about 3 miles and turn right to merge onto US-93/95. Go 12.5 miles and Merge onto NV-564 E/W Lake Mead Pkwy via Exit 61B. Heading east on NV-564 (Lake Mead Blvd) go over the mountains (passing between Frenchman Mountain to the south and Sunrise Mountain to the north) to the park entrance station. Pay the entrance fee ($5 per car or an annual pass), and proceed to the T-intersection with Northshore Road (NV Rt 167) and Lakeshore Road (NV Rt 166). Bear left and drive north on Northshore Road (NV 167) for 39 miles and turn left to pull into the picnic area parking lot.

General Description: Rogers Spring is a hot spring which is caused by geothermal activity deep within the ground at the base of the hills. This super heated water comes up and then forms several pools within the area of Rogers Spring that eventually flow into Lake Mead. There are picnic grounds, barbeque areas and restroom facilities at this somewhat secluded spot. As the small stream that originates at the spring flows down to Lake Mead, it provides water to dozens palm trees and most of the birds and wildlife that is found in the immediate area. Because it carries a unique type of bacteria that may cause flue-like symptoms and even death, this small pool of water should not be used for swimming or drinking. The water flows over a small concrete dam creating a small waterfall and small creek that eventually finds it way to Lake Mead.
Special Attraction or Points of Interest: There are many unusual fish and turtles that live in the pond. Many of the fish found here were imported by the former private owners of the land in and around Rogers Spring to sell the fish to pet stores, and are therefore not indigenous to the area. There are molly's, guppies, ciclids, and more. There are two short trails for the more adventurous.
Primary Activity: Photography and birding.
Secondary Activities: Hiking.

Elevation:
Best Time To Visit: The best time to visit is in the spring when the natural vegetation in the area is more green and in full bloom.
Difficulty: For those wanting to explore, you can follow the route of the little creek as I did today or take the the trailhead to the right of the bridge across the creek that takes you to a vantage point about 100 feet above the spring. Easy to moderate depending upon which trail you decide to take.
Facilities: Restroom facilities and shaded picnic table are available.
Estimated Round-trip Time: Four hours.
More Info On Rogers Spring go to : http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM4ZQN_In_the_middle_of_nowhere or
http://www.lvrj.com/living/rogers-spring-a-scenic-natural-oasis-69506517.html

01/16/2014 Trip Notes: I made another stop here with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Senior Facility on our return from hiking the ghost town of St. Thomas. It seems that each time I visit this spot I am able to capture some nice pictures. Click here to view pictures from this latest visit ... Rogers Spring Update.
                               

03/14/2012 Trip Notes: We made a stop here with my sister and her husband on the way to Valley of Fire State Park. Though it was too early to have our picnic lunch, it made for a nice rest stop. Even though it is still winter and a lot of the vegetation has yet to turn green and bloom, the warm mineral laden waters of this small hot spring is still able to provide some colorful shots as evidenced by the four pictures below. 

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12/15/2011 Trip Notes: Even though there might not be enough here to make this a destination point by itself, combined with other stops along the Northshore road, it certainly makes a great place for lunch. A couple of the pictures incorporated here came from a stop Connie and I made here back in 2006.

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A view of the pond looking north. Even though we were able to see a turtle and more than a half dozen of different varieties of fish, some up to five inches in length, I was unable to capture and good pictures of them. The picture of the falls on the left below was taken below the foot bridge looking back towards the pond. It has been estimated that nearly 1,000 gallons of water per minute flows from these springs into Lake Mead. The picture on the right was taken looking downstream (south) towards Lake Mead. The next picture, captured little further downstream, shows Lake Mead and the morning sun rising over the Arizona mountains.
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I was intrigued by the leaves on these vine-like bushes that paralleled the stream bed. They appeared to be very similar to a maple leaf. If you know what they are send me an email. Even though it is the middle of December and the start of winter, pictures below indicated that there were still a few signs of life scattered about.
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(OPTION 2) Running the cursor over the picture being shown will PAUSE the show and bring up a navigation bar at the bottom of the slideshow window with Pause, Forward and Back buttons, allowing you to start, stop or manually forward or back up pictures one at a time.




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Slideshow Description: The slideshow above contains 60 pictures that were taken on three different visits to Rogers Spring.