Update 10/14/2013 – Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

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(Fig. 01)

10/14/2013 Trip Notes: Columbus Day turned out to be just a gorgeous, sunny day in the low 70’s. Perfect for a picnic and afternoon of hiking, Connie and I took our friend Jim Herring, who was in town visiting from Wichita, Kansas, out to the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park . Even though “Red Rock Canyon” was closed due to the government shutdown, this historic ranch remained open because it is a state park. Situated inside the boundaries of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, it lies beneath the colorful cliffs of the magnificent Wilson Range in the northern end of Cottonwood Valley.
(Fig. 02) 
Taken from the front of the restored ranch house, the picture in (Fig. 01) looks out over the main pasture (left) and picnic area (right). Established as a working cattle ranch in 1876, some of its sandstone buildings (Fig. 02) date back to the 1860s. (Fig. 03), a view of Indecision Peak and White Pinnacle Peak, was taken from the top of the Overlook Trail on our way towards Lake Harriet and Sandstone Peak (Fig. 04). The view west across the lake (Fig. 05) looks directly into Sandstone Canyon. From the far side of the lake we hiked the 2.2 mile loop trail to the mouth of the canyon (Fig. 06) and back. Upon our return we lit up the grill and enjoyed a lunch of hamburgers, chips and potato salad. Both Jim and Connie thought the hamburgers would have been better had I remembered to bring the hamburger buns. After lunch I snapped a couple of pictures of Connie (Fig. 07) and Jim (Fig. 08) before we took a self-guided tour of the ranch house. On the way out of the parking area we had a nice view of the Calico Cliffs (Fig. 09) inside Red Rock Canyon. A great time was had by all!
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)