Lakeshore Drive (Part II) – Long View Overlook To Sunset View Overlook

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(Fig. 01)
03/21/2013 Trip Notes: This was the Heritage Park Senior Facilities’ first hike here for the 2013 season. As noted on the previously, there are several pull-offs along this 11-mile stretch of road, and this page chronicles yet another two. The last time our group visited here was on 01/19/2012. This post may include pictures from both visits. Note: The slide show on the [Previous Page] includes pictures from all of my visits here.

Long View Overlook:  I’m not really sure this really short turnoff has a name, however I think this is it. One of the best things about this stop is not the view of the lake, but rather the hike up the wash due west across the road from the turnoff. Approximately three-quarters of a mile away, (Fig. 01 ) is a close-up of the mountains and canyon at the end of the wash that you can see from the road. Once you reach and pass through the canyon, the wash opens up (Fig. 02) and continues on for another mile and a half, taking you deeper into the River Mountains.
(Fig. 02)
The 3/4 mile hike up this wash to this canyon was filled with a variety of wildflowers (Figs. 03 thru 08), and was the main reason I took this hike today. Because it is still a little early in the season, many of these plants were loaded with buds that had not yet bloomed, however, there were a few located in areas of direct sunlight that showed some early signs of blooming. [Remember, clicking on each of these pictures will enlarge it to full size for viewing] Along the way I noticed several Desert Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) (Fig. 03), some with more than 30-40 buds. Smooth Desert Dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata) (Fig. 04) were everywhere. I believe the annual forb in (fig. 05) is a Pebble Pincushion (Chaenactis carphoclinia). The flower in (Fig. 06) is a Gravel Ghost (Atrichoseris platyphylla). The plant in (Fig. 07) is a Narrow-leaf Popcorn Flower (Cryptantha angustifolia). I think the bell-shaped, purple flowers of the Notch Leaved Phacelia (Phacelia crenulata)  (Fig. 08) make for one of the prettiest annual forbs in the desert. If I have misidentified any of these, you can email me with the proper identification at
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
Probably the most interesting find on this hike was the remains of a Desert Bighorn Sheep (Fig. 09). From the condition of his damaged right horn, and the annual growth rings on his left horn, it is evident that he was at least 30 years old and probably in a weakened condition. Though it was impossible to determine what animal may have “taken him down”, the fact that there was still some fir and tissue on the carcass indicated that it was probably sometime in the past few months. Walking the area we found other body parts scattered as far away as 20 feet. The keen eye of one of my fellow hikers spotted some movement on the top of a very distant mountain that turned out to be a red tail hawk. It is times like these that I wish I had a 1600mm telephoto lens. To give you an idea of how far away it was, the picture in (Fig. 10) was taken with the 20x zoom on my camera (the equivalent of a 480mm lens) and the outcrop is a zoom in of another 16 times.
Desert Sheep Head
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)

Sunset View Scenic Overlook: The views (Figs. 11 & 12) here are expansive in every direction, and though I’m sure that pictures at sunset could be even better, I’ve only been able to see it during the early morning hours. Someday I need to get out here during the sunset hours. The final picture (Fig. 13) is a Desert Sunflower (Geraea canescens) that I found located here on a small divider in the middle of the parking area on a previous visit.
EFP-P1010921 Stitch
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
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