Tuesday

Daytrip - Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort

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On 06/26/2016 my friend Jim Herring and I decided to travel up into the Spring Mountains to escape the oppressive heat of the Las Vegas valley. It was predicted to be 109 degrees in Las Vegas. When we reached the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort, it was a comfortable 84 degrees. It was even cooler after acceding the trail lift to an elevation of 8,413 feet. I plan on returning here on Friday with Bob Croke and Ron Ziance. On this visit we are planning on hiking down from the top of the chair lift. Click here for pictures and information about this trip ...Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort.

Daytrip - Pittman Wash

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On 06/25/2016, Bob Croke and Ron Ziance and myself joined nearly 15 other interested persons that met with members of the Project Green: Friends of Pittman Wash people that sponsored a walk through the wash providing information on the Eco system of the wash, how it works, what aquatic animals can survive, and about the kinds of plants and their importance in supporting the aquatic habitat and other animals that are rarely seen. Over the course of past years I have visited and hiked Pittman Wash on several occasions and always seem to come away with new and different pictures. Click here for pictures and information on this popular location ... Pittman Wash - Henderson Nevada.

Wednesday

Daytrip - North Loop Trail

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On 05/27/2016 Blake Smith and I drove up to Mount Charleston and Deer Creek Road in an attempt a hike to "Raintree", a Bristlecone Pine tree, estimated to be more than 3,000 years old. From the trailhead, this hike requires an extremely three plus mile hike with a steep elevation gain of more than 1,583 feet. Unfortunately, we never did make it to this location. The good news was that we still had a great hike. Click here for pictures and a description of this hike ... North Loop Trail - Trip Notes for 05/27/2016. Click here for more pictures and information about previous hikes to this area ... North Loop Trail- Summary Page.

Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort

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This page last updated on 04/13/2017
(Fig. 01)
Directions: From US 95 northwest of Las Vegas, take SR 156 southwest for 17.25 miles into Lee Canyon until the road ends at a parking area beyond the entrance to the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort (Fig. 01). Distance is about 35 miles from Las Vegas.
                         
Description: Initially know as the Lee Canyon Ski Area and now named the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort (LVSSR), it is still known to locals as Lee Canyon. It is located in the middle of the Nevada in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. The base lodge is situated at the base of Lee Peak (seen in the top of Fig. 03) with an elevation of 11,289 feet to the north of Mount Charleston, the eighth highest peak in Nevada at 11,916 feet. Only about 35 miles from the city, it is 6,000 feet higher than Las Vegas. To give you and idea of what his mountain area is like, the temperature on my visit today was 109 degrees in the city and only 84 degrees when we reached the Base Area at 8,510 feet (Fig. 02). In the early 1930's, Las Vegas locals and visitors alike have enjoyed the snow on wind protected, north-facing slopes. In the 1940's the Las Vegas Ski Club operated a short rope tow and a warming hut. Over the years, throughout the 70's and 80's additional chair lifts were installed. Lee Canyon Ski Area officially became Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort in 1995 when it was purchased by the Powdr Corporation. Over time they many many improvements and in 2003 they improved snow-making, rental equipment, a Magic Carpet surface lift, expanded terrain park, and improved terrain on the beginner slope. In 2005 a triple chairlift was installed to replace the yellow double chairlift, Chair One.

07/01/2016 Trip NotesJust six days later, Bob Croke, Ron Ziance and I returned to the Lee Canyon ski resort for another ride up the mountain on the chair lift. Today it was even cooler that the week before; it was 68 degrees at the top of the lift. Here are the pictures (Figs 01A thru 01E)  I took on today's visit.
                     
(Fig. 01A)

(Fig. 01B)

(Fig. 01C)
(Fig. 01D)
(Fig. 01E)

                         
06/26/2016 Trip Notes: As it was predicted to be 109 degrees in Las Vegas, my friend Jim Herring and I decided to ascend upon the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort in the Spring Mountains. From the Base Camp seen in (Fig. 02), we paid $12 for a lift ticket to the top (9,310 feet) of the Sherwood Lift and slowly made our accent to the top (Fig. 04). Here was our approach to the platform at top of the lift (Fig. 05). From here we hiked south up a trail behind the platform to a wash-like ravine (Fig. 06) that actually had some signs of water. The arrow labeled "A" in (Fig. 03) shows were we climbed. Unfortunately, most of the water flowed beneath all the rocks and debris in the ravine. Other than a butterfly (Fig. 08), the only other evidence of  'color' was this plant (Fig. 09). (notes con't below)
                                       
(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
Trip Notes Continued: After climbing down from here we walked a little west behind the platform. This provided up with a more scenic views (Fig. 10) and view of their man-made pond (Fig. 11). Just before getting back on the lift for the ride down I captured this last view to the right of the lift (Fig. 12). This was the view we had on the ride down (Fig. 13). This last picture was of the newest chair lift called Top of Bluebird (Fig. 14). At 9,37 feet, it is actually 60 higher than the one we rode. The map in (Fig. 15) give you an idea of the layout of the mountain.
                                 
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)
(Fig. 15)

Overton Wildlife Management Area

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(Fig. 01)
This map was taken from the 2014 Final Draft of the Conceptual Management Plan for the
Overton Wildlife Management Area 
Description: The Overton Wildlife Management Area is located in the lower reaches of the Moapa and Virgin valleys where the Muddy and Virgin rivers flow into the north end of the Overton Arm of Lake Mead and totals 17,229 acres. The dotted yellow boundary lines in (Fig. 01) show the full extent of the OWMA. As you can see, the two major sources of water on the OWMA are the Muddy and Virgin rivers. The western portion of the OWMA along the Muddy River (Fig. 02 below) has been developed with ponds, seasonal wetlands, a campground, equipment shop, employee residences and an office, while the Virgin River portion of the OWMA is undeveloped.

Geographic Location: This portion of Clarke County is about 65 miles northeast of Las Vegas and can be accessed using Interstate 15 and State Route 169. The main entrance is located about two miles south of the town of Overton. Most of the OWMA varies in elevation between 1,150 and 1,240 feet (ft.) above Mean Sea Level (MSL). Prominent topographic features of the surrounding area include the southern portion of Mormon Mesa located 1,800 ft. above MSL between the Muddy and Virgin rivers, Mormon Peak located approximately 28 miles north at an elevation of 7,400 ft. above MSL, and Virgin Peak located 18 miles east and approximately 8,000 ft. above MSL.
                    
(Fig. 02)
This map was taken from the 2014 Final Draft of the Conceptual Management Plan for the
Overton Wildlife Management Area 
07/25/2016 Trip Notes: I visited this area with Bob Croke. As you can see from the map in (Fig. 02), this entire area contains dozens of fields (Fig. 03) that are growing hay and other crops. We entered at the areas' main entrance off SR-169, at the spot seen on the map in (Fig. 02). From here we followed the dirt road along the southwest boarder to the Center Pond, one of the wildlife area's four ponds. Finding this pond dry, we continued down the road to Pintail and Wilson Ponds (refer to the map in (Fig. 02)). Taking the road between the two ponds we headed northeast toward the Muddy River. Both of these ponds were almost completely dry. While driving along we spotted two families of Gambel's Quail, each with as many as a dozen chicks. We also spotted a variety of birds and and several Roadrunners. At one spot we found six cows lying down in the shade of some large trees, though they quickly scattered into the heavy brush (Fig. 04). We even encountered a bull walking down the road in front of us (Figs. 05 & 06). (notes con't below)
                         
(Fig. 03)


(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)

(Fig. 06)
Notes Continued: When we reached the river at the end of the dry pond bed we turn northwest and followed the road around the west side of the pond. A canal of water fed by the Muddy River followed the right side of the road for several hundred yards (Fig. 07). Eventually it breached the berm and came across the road, flowing into the dry lake. It mad the road so muddy, we couldn't continue and had to retrace our steps all the way back to the main road. On our was back we spotted an area of water at southern end of the lake bed, that had a flock of Ibises (Fig. 08) and seagulls (Fig. 10). Ibises all have long, down-curved bills, and usually feed as a group, probing mud for food items (Fig. 09). As we were leaving the area, we were even more surprised when we spotted some turkeys (Fig. 11). One of the fields was full of Black-eyed Susan's were hosting hundreds of bees (Fig. 12). Though there are a lot of areas to hike around here, we were severely hampered by the temperature. Even though we arrived here around 8:30 in the morning, the temperature was already up to 98 degrees and limited our hiking of the area. Due to this years lack of monsoon rains and brutal hot temperatures, it seemed obvious this area might be more interesting in the Fall, Winter and Spring when there might be more water. I plan on going back for another visit in the late fall.
                       
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)


Pittman Wash - Henderson NV

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This page last updated on 06/15/2017
(Fig. 01)
A morning sunrise in Pittman Wash
(Fig. 02)
Description: Located in suburban Henderson, NV, the Pittman Wash follows what is usually a dry wash through residential neighborhoods from Pebble Road northeast to the Arroyo Grande Sports Complex. The major trails run between Green Valley Parkway and Valley Verde Drive (Fig. 02a) and represents urban hiking at its best. This large natural watercourse, sometimes wider than the Las Vegas Wash, carries flood waters from the Mount Potosi area of the Southwest Valley, to the Las Vegas Wash, and ultimately into Lake Mead. The wash corridor itself is a bird sanctuary with views of mountains, sand, desert scrub, plants and trees, and a wide variety of wildlife including coyotes, foxes, rabbits, ground squirrels, and small lizards.
                     
(Fig. 02a)
Pittman Wash Trail Descriptions: From end to end the trail is approximately 4.2 miles in length. The trail can be accessed from multiple areas, including residential entrances along the way. One can start at either end or enter from three locations within the trail: Legacy West Park on Pecos Rd, the intersection of Green Valley Parkway, and the Silver Springs Sports Complex. Most of the upper trail hugs the walls of the neighboring residential areas and is paved with either asphalt or concrete, with limited sections of gravel or grass that is nicely landscaped and functions as a combination walking/jogging/biking trail. Along the way there are multiple resting benches, picnic tables, water fountains, numerous doggie bags supplying and discarding stations, and many informational signs – especially along the road intersections. There are clean restrooms at Legacy Park on Pecos. Parking is available at Legacy West Park on Pecos Rd, the Silver Springs Park and the Arroyo Grande Sports Complex.

There are several rock-lined trails, between Green Valley Parkway and Arroyo Grande Street, that wind through the vegetation at the bottom of the wash (Fig. 02a). The original trail was built by a Boy Scout as a project to complete the requirements for the rank of Eagle Scout; part of this trail is called the Eagle Scout Trail. The southern most trail is called the Quail Trail and closely follows the flow of water that runs through the wash. None of these various trails are challenging, and all allow you to explore the miniature ecosystem that exists within the wash. Today, this trail system is maintained by Project Green: Friends of the Pittman Wash, a volunteer organization.

07/01/2016 Visit Notes: Today we made a quick stop at the wash to note changes since our visit of a week ago, due to the heavy rains of the past couple of days. It had been reported that the wash was filled with nearly four feet of rushing water just two days ago. As you can see from (Figs. 03), not only was the water still flowing pretty good, many of the surrounding plants showed uprooting and damage from the heavy waters. Many of the boulder lined trails withing the was also showed considerable damage. Both Bob and I captured a few pictures (Fig. 03A) of a wasp that was sitting on one of the trails sign post. Obviously, Bob got the better picture (#03A-01) in the collage.

(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 03A)



06/25/2016 Visit Notes: Over the course of several years I have visited and hiked Pittman Wash on several occasions. On this visit Bob Croke and Ron Ziance joined nearly 15 other interested persons, who were led by members of the Project Green: Friends of Pittman Wash, who provided information on the Eco system of the wash, how it works, what aquatic animals can survive, and about the kinds of plants and their importance in supporting the aquatic habitat and other animals that are rarely seen. As we hiked along the trails of the wash, we discovered several examples of flowing and standing water that supported the trees, plant life and animals the thrived in the wash (Fig. 04). Our very knowable guide (forth from the left in Fig. 05) provided us with a plethora of information on dragonflies (Fig. 06), varieties of the Cat-n-Nine Tails, Dumantra, and many other plants and trees (Fig. 07). Though I spotted several varieties of birds and three rabbits, I was unable to capture any pictures due to the number of people that were on this hike. All of the pictures in these collages were taken during this hike. All in all we spent nearly two very pleasurable and informative hours hiking through the wash.

(Fig. 04)


(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
Previous Visiting Notes: The following is a compilation of pictures captured on five previous visits between 2009 and 2014 (Figs. 10 thru 18). Depending upon the time of the year, sometimes I would go early in the morning, as in the example in (Fig. 01), sometimes I would go later in the day. The one constant was, that whenever I visited, there were lots of people either jogging, biking or walking their dogs (Fig. 09). This picture is of the memorial dog park behind the Silver Springs Sports Complex along the paved upper trail that runs between Green Valley Parkway and Arroyo Grande. Refer also to (Fig. 21). This is one of the most popular places to walk in Henderson. As you can see from many of these pictures, when walking down in the bottom of the wash there is so much vegetation, you are so isolated that you can't even see any of the surrounding signs of the city. It seemed that no matter what time of day or time of year that I visited, I was always able to find something different or unique to capture. Captured on 08/22/2012, these last two pictures (Figs. 19 & 20) give you an idea of Pittman Wash's primary purpose - to funnel water from flash flood storms during the monsoon season.
                         
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)
(Fig. 15)
(Fig. 16)
(Fig. 17)
(Fig. 18)
(Fig. 19)

(Fig. 20)
(Fig. 21)