Calico Tanks (RRCNCA) - Summary Page

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This page last updated on 04/01/2018
(Fig. 01)
Calico Tanks Cover
Calico Tank Hike
(Fig. 02) Click to Enlarge
04/04/2018 Trip Notes: This was my second trip to the Calico Tanks. Today Jim Herring and I made this hike. Even though someone had added a several more "stone steps" into this trail since my previous hike, I found today's hike was much more difficult than it was back in 2013. Click here for pictures and information about this hike ... Calico Tanks (RRCNCA) -Trip Notes for 04/04/2018.

04/25/2013 Trip Notes: Today’s trip with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park Senior Facility took us back to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Driving along the 11-mile scenic loop, we headed to the Sandstone Quarry parking lot, our primary destination for the day's activities. From here everyone divided into four primary groups; some hiking to the Sandstone Quarry, some to the Calico Tanks, some to Calico II & I, and some to Pine Creek. Harvey, Buster and I (Fig. 03) headed to the Calico Tanks (Fig. 01). One of the nicest things about this hike was that you could easily converse with your fellow hiking partners the entire way.
Starting out on an old road that runs northward into the historic quarry area, the trail crosses a wash and heads upstream before leaving the wash and turning up a major side canyon on the right, heading southeast. This side canyon leads into the heart of the Calico Hills. The lower part of the canyon is wide and sandy (Fig. 04), and at times is surrounded by Singleleaf Pinyon Pine and other bushes, plants, cactus and shrubs, such as the Dune Evening Primrose in (Fig. 05) making the hike not only quite enjoyable, but also providing some great views of Turtlehead Peak (Fig. 06). However, higher up, following use-trails, the canyon narrows and the trail runs on red and white sandstone slickrock where the route is not always obvious. There’s one section where you’re forced to scale and side-step your way up a large red rock. This is probably the most dangerous leg of the hike, but if you’re reasonably sure-footed, you’ll make it easily. The fact that the trail crew has cut steps in solid sandstone rock and built stone stairs (Fig. 07) on some of the steeper parts was an unanticipated relief at times. After climbing steeply for what seemed quite some time, we then crossed a long flat area with singleleaf pines and eventually dropped down into the Calico Tanks (Fig. 08).

Though there wasn't as much water in the tank as we had hoped, we were still surprised that we were unable to find (Fig. 09) any tadpoles or footprints of desert bighorn sheep. Continuing past the tanks and hiking to the top of the saddle visible at the top right of ((Fig. 08) we were rewarded with some outstanding views of Calico Basin and the Las Vegas Valley (Fig. 10). (Figs. 11, 12 & 13) show some more pictures of the plant life that we encountered along the trail.
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