|Destination: Pine Creek Canyon Trail (RRCNCA) |
Distance from Point of Origin: 36 miles.
Estimated (One Way) Travel Time: 55 minutes.
Directions: From the Stratosphere Casino take a right onto Las Vegas Blvd south (the Strip) to Sahara Ave. Turn right onto West Sahara Ave (NV-589) and continue to follow W. Sahara Ave for 10 miles until it turns into Desert Foothills Drive. Continue on for another 4.5 miles and turn left onto NV-159 W Charleston Blvd. Continue to follow NV-159 (which becomes Blue Diamond Road) west for about 4.5 miles and turn right onto Scenic Drive which leads into the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (RRCNCA). After paying the entrance fee, bear right at the fork to stay on the 16 mile Scenic Loop road. Travel roughly 13 miles past the visitor center, about three quarters of the way around the Scenic Loop, turn right into the parking area for the Pine Creek Canyon. The trailhead is immediately on the right as you enter the parking area.
General Description: The Pine Creek Trail is like a lot of the other trails at Red Rock, with several trails that crisscross through a box canyon. Most of these trails are centered around the stream that runs through the center of the canyon in the springtime or when there are heavy rains. This stream is fed by the small springs that themselves feed on the rainwater and snow melt that is stored in the porous sandstone cliffs. The mountain views (shown above) from almost everywhere along this hike are fantastic; Mt. Wilson to the far left, Rainbow Mountain, Rainbow Wall and Juniper Peak, Mescalito straight ahead and Bridge Mountain on the right. The towering red, black and gray mountains combined with juniper, pine and various deciduous trees create wonderful “color country.” In the fall when the leaves are turning this hike can become a sensory overload and should not be missed!
Special Attraction or Points of Interest: Veering of the main trail about 2/3 of the way into this hike will take you along a running stream bed that you can follow for almost a half mile. Depending upon the time of year, you may also find a hidden waterfall at the end. This idyllic canyon was originally settled by a homesteader named Horace Wilson back in the early 1920's. Deep in the canyon the foundation to his home still remains (top picture).
Primary Activity: Hiking.
Secondary Activities: Photographing and birding.
Elevation: 4,025 feet.
Best Time To Visit: Open year-round, the best time to visit is in the early spring and the cooler months of fall and winter.
Difficulty: Easy, except for the climb back up the ridge to the trailhead.
Facilities: Pit Toilets.
Estimated Round-trip Time: Four to five hours depending upon how much hiking, exploring and picture taking you do.
|For more info on Pine Creek Canyon go to: http://www.friendsofredrockcanyon.org/pine_creek.php|
04/18/2016 Trip Notes: Today was my second visit here. I was accompanied by fellow hikers Blake Smith and Jim Herring. The weather today was much better than that of my previous visit, clear and sunny with very little haze. We spend more time hiking the trail along the creek and ended up with some very nice pictures. Click the following link pictures and a description of today's hike ... Pine Creek Canyon (RRCNCA).
We found a wide variety of vegetation and plant life in various stages of bloom as we hiked along the sides of the stream including several varieties of cacti, wild grasses, Nevada Bluegrass, budding flowers, grapevines, and even some blackberry bushes. After learning about the Wilson homestead (see below), it is probable that he may have planted the grapes and blackberries as part of his garden and orchard.
Play a Slide ShowClicking the picture-link below will open OneDrive in a new window and a folder containing 54 pictures taken on two hikes at Pine Creek Canyon. To view the show, click on the first picture in the folder and you will get the following menu bar:
Click the "Play slide show" will play a fullscreen window of the slide show.