Friday

Bird Spring Peak Trail

EFP-P1040591-P1040592
(Fig. 01)
MAP-Terrain-Cottonwood Valley
(Fig. 02)
Area Description: The Bird Spring Range runs north-south along the eastern flank of Cottonwood Valley (Fig. 02), forming the southwestern margin of the Las Vegas Valley. At an elevation of only 5,298 feet, Bird Spring Mountain is little more than a hill compared to some of the nearby Spring Mountains. The slope of this mountain to the west is moderately steep, while the slope to the east is a series of near-vertical cliffs (Fig. 03) that are hundreds of feet in height.

The Hike: First of all, last years' monsoonal rains had a devastating effect on the roads in this area and getting up Cottonwood Valley Road and the access road to the trailhead requires a four wheel drive vehicle. Without a four wheel vehicle, the best way to travel the 4.5 miles to the trailhead would be to bike it.  From the trailhead at the top of the access road, it is only a mile to the main peak. From the trailhead start by hiking up a rather steep ridge to the north. Reaching this first little peak is the steepest part of the entire route and only takes about 15 minutes; the rest of the journey is a pleasant walk on the fairly level summit ridge. Continue to hike north along the crest, hiking up over little summits and down into little saddles. The elevation changes are slight and the grades are gentle. About 0.7 miles from the trailhead, there is a small peak with a large cairn that appears to mark the true summit, though it doesn't really matter where the "true" summit is, the views of the surrounding desert, valleys and mountain ranges all along this ridge are spectacular.
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02/13/2013 Trip Notes: After visiting the Dawn and Ninetynine Mines, we took FR-800C back to Cottonwood Valley Road. This was an extremely rough road, and is not recommended for travel. Once we reached the valley road we turned right and again headed south through Cottonwood Pass until we reached the turnoff for the access road to the Bird Spring Range shown in the background of (Fig. 01) and in the lower right corner of the map in (Fig. 02) above. Three quarters of the way up this road we were presented with some great views looking north back across Cottonwood Valley towards the Wilson Cliffs (Fig. 04) and of the Calico Outcrop (Fig. 05) inside Red Rock Canyon. Upon reaching the trailhead we were afforded expansive views of the entire Las Vegas Valley (Fig. 06). Walking around this area I found several rocks that contained what appeared to be some fossil-like specimens. Could the perfect “egg” shaped specimen in the rock found in (Fig. 07) be a dinosaur egg? Throughout the day’s hiking I spotted dozens of birds, a Red-tailed Hawk, several lizards (Figs. 09 & 10), and more than a half-dozen Pin Cushion Cactus (Fig. 08).

EFP-P1040635
(Fig. 03)

EFP-P1040610
(Fig. 04)
EFP-P1040603-P1040605
(Fig. 05)
EFP-P1040624-P1040627
(Fig. 06)
EFP-P1040630
(Fig. 07)
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(Fig. 08)
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(Fig. 09)
EFP-P1040622
(Fig. 10)