Thursday

Deer Creek Picnic Area - Summary Page

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This page last updated on 06/21/2017
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(Fig. 01)
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(Fig. 02)
Directions: From US 95 northwest of Las Vegas, take SR 156 southwest for 16 miles into Lee Canyon and turn left onto NV-158 (Deer Creek Road) and travel about eight miles. The parking area (Fig. 02) is on the left; the picnic area is on the right.
                                     
General Description: Deer Creek Canyon is a deep, narrow canyon in a Pine-Fir forest with a small, perennial creek that cuts a rocky, narrow canyon down the steep flanks of Mummy Mountain. The trail into the picnic area begins a hundred yards south of the parking area (Fig. 01) by turning up an old road (068A - now a paved trail) along the stream that parallels the road (Fig. 02). Because of the water, birds from all over the area come to drink and bathe, making this is a good place to bird. Picnic tables are packed closely between the creek and the northern rocky hillside and is lined with enormous Ponderosa Pines, white fir, willows, shrubs, and wild flowers, all provide cover for the chipmunks and a wide variety of birds who come to the creek for water.
                  
10/19/2015 Trip Notes: Again today Blake Smith and I headed to the Deer Creek Picnic Area at Mt. Charleston for yet another morning hike. At least this time we were a little better prepared for the 38 degree morning temperatures. On this hike we hiked nearly a mile further up Cougar Trail road in our search for the spring that fed Deer Creek. Click here for pictures and information about this hike ... Deer Creek Picnic Area and Cougar Road.
                               
10/01/2015 Trip Notes: Today, Blake Smith and I headed to Mt. Charleston for a morning hike. When we arrived at the meadow along Lee Canyon road it was 48 degrees. We decided that it was too cold to hike and drove over to the Resort at Mount Charleston and had a hearty breakfast of Eggs Benedict. On our way to the resort we had two mule deer cross the road in front of us, but were unable to capture any pictures. After breakfast we drove to the Deer Creek Picnic Area, located on the left at the bottom of the road in (Fig. 03)  From the parking area, we hiked the route noted in yellow on the map in (Fig. 02). From Deer Creek Road the paved trail (Fig. 04) follows nearly a dozen picnic areas with benches and grills as it begins a steady upward climb following Deer Creek on the left (Fig. 05). The water was flowing at a pretty good clip. At the end of the pavement, the trail intersects Cougar Ridge Trail (see Fig. 02). We turned left and followed the Cougar Ridge Trail up the ridge (Fig. 06). This ridge tops out about at about 3,520 feet, nearly 200 feet above Deer Creek trail below. Near the top we had an amazing find. Buried beneath the roots of a large tree on the right, we spotted the boulder, centered of the picture in (Fig. 07). This rock contained an amazing number of seabed fossils with possible coral fossils, bryozoa fossils and other excellently preserved remains including echinoderms, sponges, bryozoans, ostracodes (tiny bivalve crustaceans related to barnacles), pelecypods, gastropods, trilobites, conodonts, cephalopods and brachiopods (Fig. 08). The views from the top of this ridge provide some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains (Figs. 09 & 10). As we started down, back to the main road, we spotted an old cement foundation off to the right (Figs. 11 & 12). After studying it will still had no idea what it may have been.
                                             
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(Fig. 03)
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(Fig. 04)
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(Fig. 05)
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(Fig. 06)
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(Fig. 07)
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(Fig. 08)
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(Fig. 09
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(Fig. 10)
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(Fig. 11)
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(Fig. 12)
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05/13/2015 Trip Notes: On a quick drive through through the mountains I spotted three horses at the Deer Creek Picnic Area that were leisurely grazing along the edge of the parking lot (Figs. 13 & 14). In all my visits to the Mt. Charleston area, this is the first time I have ever spotted wild horses here. They headed down into the deep ravine/wash (Fig. 15) opposite the Deer Creek Trail.
                                 
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(Fig. 13)
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(Fig. 14)
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(Fig. 15)