Friday

Lost Creek Falls (Lower) Trail (RRCNCA)

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EFP-P1020680
(Fig. 01)
Destination: (Lower) Lost Creek Falls Trail - (RRCNCA)
Distance from Point of Origin: 26 miles.
Estimated (One Way) Travel Time: 45 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 8 miles past the visitor center, a little more than half-way around the Scenic Loop. Turn right onto Willow Spring Road and drive north 0.2 miles and park on the left side of the road; this is the trailhead. Lost Creek is located about a mile before Willow Springs Picnic Area.

General Description: There are two trails that lead to the Lost Creek Falls, the ‘lower’ trail being the easiest. The ‘upper’ trail goes by some caves and petroglyphs. Lost Creek is a typical of the type of stream that exists in the desert. It is covered with the brush that it sustains and that brush sustains it by protecting the stream from the direct sunlight and increased evaporation. This short trail runs across Red Rock Wash and up a short canyon in the red rock cliffs to a waterfall inside the Rainbow Mountain Wilderness Area. The trail ends in a pretty little box canyon with a waterfall that flows during winter and after rainstorms.
Special Attraction or Points of Interest: There is a spring in the willow thicket at the base of the canyon, before you reach the falls, that almost always has water. This is a good place to look for birds. During extremely wet years, the trail into the canyon can be flooded and travel can be somewhat difficult if you want to keep your feet dry, but the waterfall can be spectacular under those conditions. Also, just a short distance up the road from the trail head to the falls is Willow Springs Picnic Area, a good place to stop for lunch.
Primary Activity: Hiking.
Secondary Activities: Photographing.

Elevation: 4,452 at the trail head to about 4,518 at the falls.
Best Time To Visit: Early Spring.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. The "lower" trail is relatively easy. The "upper" trail is a little more difficult. I would suggest walking out on the lower trail (.3 miles) and returning via the upper trail (.5 miles). The upper trail has some serious exposure and is not appropriate for the inexperienced or faint of heart. The route up the hillside is steep and rocky, and at the top of the cliff, you have to find a route across exposed ledges.
Facilities: None.
Estimated Round-trip Time: 3-3-1/2 hours depending upon picture taking and hiking of side trails..
EFP-P1020611
(Fig. 02)
                        
03/03/2011 Trip Notes: I Took this hike with the the rock-hounds from the Henderson Senior Facility. Even though I have probably been here two or three times, this is the first time that there was a fair amount of water coming over the falls (Fig. 01). As you leave the parking area, the first section of this trail (Fig. 02) is also part of the Children’s Discovery Trail and the Willow Springs Loop Trail. After hiking through the “spring” area, the trail starts to rise towards the falls, leading you past a flowing stream of water (in early Spring) (Fig. 03). When you reach the area of the just below the falls, there is a relatively flat area covered with water (Fig. 04). After viewing the falls (Fig. 05), backtrack to a t-intersection in the trail that will now be on your left. Taking this trail will lead you up higher into some the rocky cliffs with some caves (Fig. 06) and some pictographs (Fig. 07). This turns into the Upper Lost Creek Falls Trail that ends back at the Willow Springs Picnic Area. 
EFP-P1020690
(Fig. 03)
EFP-P1020674
(Fig. 04)
EFP-P1020662
(Fig. 05
EFP-P1070726
(Fig. 06)
EFP-P1070722
(Fig. 07)


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Slideshow Description: The slideshow above contains 24 pictures that were taken along the lower Lost Creek Falls trail.