Friday

Willow Springs Canyon Hike - RRNCA

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EFP-P1110508-P1110510
(Fig. 01)
Destination: Willow Springs Canyon (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 about .6 miles, past the Lost Creek Trailhead, and park on the right side of the road. This the Willow Springs Picnic Area.
General Description: The picnic area is located adjacent to a spring with large cottonwood trees. From this location you have access to seven trails. The two most popular trails, both containing petroglyph and pictograph sighting are the Lost Creek Trail and the Petroglyph Wall Trail. You can also hike farther up the dirt road deeper into the canyon itself.
Special Attraction or Points of Interest: Petroglyphs, pictographs and waterfalls when the timing is right.
Primary Activity: Hiking.
Secondary Activities: Photographing and birding.
Elevation: 4,575 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.
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 Willow Springs go to: http://www.birdandhike.com/Bird/Red_Rocks/Willow_Springs/_Willow_Spr.htm
MAP-Red Rock Canyon
(Fig. 02)
There are six trails that either start at, run through or converge near the Willow Springs Picnic Area in Willow Springs Canyon: The 1.1-mile Willow Springs Loop trail; the 0.15-mile Petroglyph Wall Trail; the 1.8-mile La Madre Springs Trail; the .5-mile Upper Lost Creek Falls Trail; the 0.31-mile Lower Lost Creek Falls Trail; and the southern portion of the 6.35-mile White Rock Loop Trail. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to each of these hiking trails/areas. Refer to the map in (Fig. 02)
                                    
EFP-P1050126
(Fig. 03)
Willow Springs Picnic Area: Located about halfway around the Scenic Drive, is a destination known as the Willow Springs Picnic Area. See (Fig. 02). The Red Rock Wash runs through Willow Springs Canyon, next to the picnic area. The pictures in (Fig. 01 & 03) were taken while standing in the middle of the wash, (01) looking up the wash, west towards the La Madre Mountains and (2) looking east, down the wash towards the Blue Diamond Hills. The picnic area is located adjacent to a spring with large cottonwood trees (Fig. 04). It has approximately 28 picnic tables, various trash receptacles and toilets. Over the past several years I have made numerous stops here; it is a great place to either start or end a full daytrip of hiking.
EFP-P1050139
(Fig. 04)

08/09/2014 Trip Notes: Recently I made another visit here to try and find some pictographs that I had either missed or failed to take pictures of on previous visits. Rock art pictures from this visit can be seen on the following page … Willow Springs Canyon Petroglyph Photos. While hiking
the Willow Springs Loop Trail on today’s visit I encountered a Black Ground Beatle and a Great Basin Whiptail Lizard. Check these pages for info and pictures … Common Black Ground Beetle (Pterostichus melanarius) and Great Basin Whiptail Lizard (Aspidoscelis tigris).

11/14/2013 Trip Notes: My hiking group made this spot our lunch stop after hiking the White Rock Loop Trail. If you visit this place at the right time in the Fall, you can always get some colorful pictures (Fig. 05). After lunch we celebrated Bill Terrance’s birthday (our van driver). The collage in (Fig. 06) shows Bill in the upper left corner eating a sandwich.
                              
EFP-P1050138
(Fig. 05)
2013 Bill_s Birthday[5]
(Fig. 06)

Hiking trails in and around Willow Springs Picnic Area

EP-P1070711Petroglyph Wall Trail in Willow Springs Canyon:  Just northwest of the picnic area, this is almost too short to even be called a trail. This .15-mile walk takes you to the side of a cliff that contains both petroglyphs and pictographs.
EP-P1070671 Willow Springs Loop Trail: This trail actually incorporates portions of the Children’s Discovery Loop Trail, the Lower Lost Creek Falls Trail and the Upper Lost Creek Trail. This trail provides views of pictographs, agave roasting pits and petroglyphs. Although I do not have a separate page for this trail, pictures taken along it have been included into other pages.
                                      
E-P1020169La Madre Springs Dam: Heading northwest up Rocky Gap Road takes you to the trailhead for the La Madre Springs hike, about a half mile from the parking at Willow Springs. This trail leads into the 47,180 acre La Madre Mountain Wilderness Area. At about a 10% grade till you get to the end, this is a fairly strenuous hike.
EP-P1050092White Rock Loop Trail,: White Rock Loop Trail: Though this is not the trailhead for the White Rock Loop Trail, you can actually begin and end this trail from here in either direction. No matter which direction you take, this 6.35-mile hike has a fairly strenuous elevation gain heading out, The return is much easier.
E-P1020667-2Lower Lost Creek Falls Trail: Located just southeast of the picnic area is the trailhead for the Lower Lost Creek Falls Trail. This trail takes you across Red Rock Wash to a natural spring surrounded by this shrubs and small trees, before taking you to the falls and then on up to come caves and pictographs.




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Slideshow Description:
The slideshow above contains 21 pictures that were taken at the Willow Springs Picnic Area.