Pages Uploaded in October 2013

Listed by Month - Category - Title:

October 2013 Posts:
Daytrip - 22nd Annual Southern Paiute Veterans Pow-Wow
Daytrip/Laighlin - Colorado River Heritage Park & Trails
Bittersprings Road - Bitter Spring.
Bittersprings Road - Hidden Valley
UPDATED Daytrip/Bittersprings Road - Buffington Pockets
Bittersprings Road - Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road
Bittersprings Road - Colorock Quarry
Goodsprings - Goodsprings Cemetery
Red Rock Canyon - Blue Diamond Hill Trails
UPDATED Daytrip - Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
UPDATED Snakes - Sidewinder Rattlesnake (Crotalus cerastes)
UPDATED Sandy Valley Road - Sandy Valley Road
Palms-Trees - Bristlecone Pines (Pinus longaeva)
Daytrip/Mt. Charleston - Raintree & Mummy Spring
Palms-Trees - Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) 
UPDATED Daytrip/Mt. Charleston - Robbers Roost Trail
UPDATED Daytrip/Mt Charleston - Fletcher Canyon Trail
Daytrip/Mt Charleston - North Loop Trail to Mt. Charleston
UPDATE/Mt Charleston - Mt. Charleston Scenic Loop


Daytrip to Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road

EP-P1040516It was just another beautiful sunny fall day in Nevada and my friend Harvey Smith and I decided to take his Ranger out to the Buffington Pockets area and the Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road. We ended up traveling its entire length, from Valley of Fire Road down to Lake Mead’s North Shore Drive. This twenty plus mile route took us to the Colorock Quarry, Buffington Pockets, Hidden Valley, and Bitter Spring. Check it out here … Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road.


Daytrip to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

EP-P1040258Our friend Jim Herrington was in town for a vacation over over the Columbus Day holiday week. On Columbus Day we took him out to Spring Mountain Ranch in the Red Rock National Conservation Area below the Wilson Cliffs. Because this is a State Park, it was not affected by the government shutdown, as were many of the other hiking opportunities in this area. After a several hours of hiking and touring the historic ranch buildings on the property, we enjoyed a nice barbeque picnic under the shade of the trees in a large grove in front of the main ranch house. Check it out here … Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.


Daytrip to Sandy Valley Road

EP-P1040308Over the past couple of weeks, I have made two trips to the Sandy Valley Road area, one with the rock-hounds and one with Jim Herring. On the visit with the rock-hounds I was a Sidewinder Rattlesnake. After hiking a couple of mines with my friend Jim, we headed into the town of Goodsprings where, after touring the town, we stopped at the 100 year old Pioneer Saloon and café for a ice cold beer and delicious 1/2-pound charcoal grilled hamburger. Check it out here … Sandy Valley Road Update and the town of Goodsprings Nevada


Daytrip to Mt. Charleston

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Because our scheduled hike to the Desert National Wildlife Range was cancelled due to it being closed down by the "Government Shutdown", we ended up doing some hiking at Mt. Charleston. Even here, several areas were closed and off limits due to July's wildfires, including Cathedral Rock and all of the public bathrooms and visitor center. We were, however, still able to find several places to hike. As a result I updated three existing pages, and created a new page for the North Loop Trail. Click here to view pictures and information on the three hiking locations we visited on today’s trip … the Fletcher Canyon Trail, Robber's Roost Trail and the North Loop Trail to Mt. Charleston.  I also updated my page titled, Daytrip - Mt. Charleston Scenic Loop which acts as a summary page for hikes we have made in and around the Mt. Charleston area.


Daytrip to Nippeno Mine

EP-P1030891Crescent Peak and Nippeno Mine. My friend Harvey Smith and I decided to spend a day 4-wheeling around the mines surrounding Crescent Peak off of Nipton Road. Even though we were unable to reach the mines on the south side of the peak, we did locate the Nippeno Mine on its north-western flank. Having never done any hiking on this side of the mountain I found the size of this mine to be quite surprising. Unfortunately, many of the roads in this area are marked “private – no trespassing”, thereby limiting our exploration efforts. Pleasant surprise of the day, a great Mexican lunch at El Oasis Café in Nipton … Nipton.


Fletcher Canyon Trail - Summary Page

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This page last updated on 06/15/2017

(Fig. 01)
Destination: Fletcher Canyon Trail
Length: 3.6 miles round trip. 
Elevation: 6,940 feet to 7,990 feet.
General Description: Fletcher Canyon Trail is an easy hike that starts off wandering through some open stands of pinon, Ponderosa, manzanita and mountain mahogany as it leisurely climbs 1/2 mile to a peaceful spring where you'll find shooting stars, columbine, wild rose and ferns thriving in the lush, cool riparian environment. The trail then drops into the streambed and may require some rock scrambling along the way. Just beyond the spring is the end of the trail maintenance.
Directions: This hike is located in Kyle Canyon up in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, about 45 minutes northwest of Las Vegas. Take I-15 North from Las Vegas to US-95 North toward Reno. A short ways out of the city, look for SR-157 (Mt. Charleston - Kyle Canyon) and turn left (west). Go 18.1 miles up Kyle Canyon Road (about 1/2 mile past the SR-158 junction) and look for small parking area on the left; the trailhead on right (North) side of road just before reaching the USFS Visitors Center.
More Info On Fletcher Canyon Trail:
Fletcher Canyon Trail-2
(Fig. 02)
06/14/2017 Hike Notes: This was the third time I walked this trail. This time I was accompanied by my friend Blake Smith. It was an absolutely beautiful day in the low 80's with a cool breeze. At an elevation of 5,000 feet, on the drive up Kyle Canyon Road we had a good view of the snow that was still lingering on Mt. Charleston. Click here for more pictures and a description of this page ... Fletcher Canyon Trail. 

10/03/2013 Trip Notes: From the trailhead (Fig. 02), the trail runs north past the trailhead sign and across the toe of a ridge that overlooks Fletcher Canyon Wash (Fig. 01). This early part of the trail runs through a forest of Ponderosa Pine and white oak. About .13 miles out, the trail drops into Fletcher Canyon Wash and turns west as it heads uphill past some limestone conglomerate rocks. From here it follows the east side of the wash through a forest of Ponderosa Pines (click to read more), Singleleaf Pinyon, mountain mahogany, manzanita, silk tassel, white oak, sagebrush, and many other shrubs (Figs. 03 & 05). About a half-mile from the trailhead (T/H), it crosses the boundary (Fig. 02) into the Mount Charleston Wilderness Area (Fig. 04). As the trail makes twists and turns, it opens to views of the surrounding mountains on both the east (Fig. 06) and west (Fig. 07) sides of the trail. In the wash and along the sides of the trail you will encounter many fallen trees (Fig. 08) and “driftwood” like roots and stumps (fig. 09). As you can see from several of these pictures, the “turning” of the leaves on many of the surrounding trees, bushes and shrubs added some nice color to the surroundings (Fig 10).
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04/07/2011 Trip Notes: While some members of our group hiked the “trail”, a few of us hiked up the wash that parallels the trail. I got lucky and was able to catch a picture of this Zebra Tailed Lizard (Fig. 11) before he scrambled off. One of the members of our group noticed this beautiful Cecropia Moth (Fig. 12). None of us could believe how large it was – nearly 3-4 inches. The Cecropia Moth caterpillar  (Hyalophora cecropia), a member of the Saturniidae family, or giant silk moths, is North America's largest native moth. Butterflies and moths go through a life cycle known as complete metamorphosis. The stages of their life cycle include: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. These molting sages are called “instars”. This one appears to be in the fourth instar. Due to the fact that it was a rather dreary, gloomy, overcast day (Fig. 13), it was hard to capture any good landscape pictures while hiking the trail and wash. Maybe I will have better luck on a future visit.
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Hidden Valley - Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway

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This page last updated on 04/14/2018

(Fig. 01)
Description: The northern end of Hidden Valley can be reached by either hiking the wash that goes past Colorock Cabin or from a trail called the Over-the-Ridge Trail that starts from the campground area at the end of the road just before taking the Colorock Quarry Road. From the cabin, the route drops into the wash and runs upstream into the narrow limestone canyon. The route follows the canyon, winds around, clambers over and around a few boulders, and eventually runs out into Hidden Valley. Its east side can be reached by traveling a half-mile 4WD road off of the Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road. Inside Hidden Valley, the area is broad and relatively flat, which makes for easy hiking on old roads. Off the roads, the soil has a high percentage of sand, which makes off-trail walking a bit harder. Red and white sandstone crags dot the valley, and the entire area is overseen by the dark limestone cliffs of the Muddy Mountains. Many native peoples used the area, so keep an eye out for their handiwork.

10/22/2013 Trip Notes: Unfortunately, we did not actually hike down into the valley on this trip. As a result, except for the view in (Fig. 01), the pictures below (Figs. 02-06) are of the sandstone areas located just north and east of the valley.
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Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road - Summary Page

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This page last updated on 05/28/2019
(Fig. 01)
Bitter Springs Road 02
(Fig. 02)
DirectionsFrom the Stratosphere, turn right onto Las Vegas Blvd south. Go a little over a mile and turn right again onto W. Sahara Ave. Go 1.2 miles and reverse direction by making a U-Turn to head back east on W. Sahara Ave. Go .5 miles and turn left to merge onto I-15 N via the ramp on the left toward Salt Lake City. Travel about 35 miles and take Exit 75 toward Valley of Fire/Lake Mead. Turn slight right onto NV-169/Valley of Fire Road/Valley of Fire Hwy. There is a Paiute Indian Reservation Tobacco Shop and small casino at that exit. It is a great place to make a pit stop before continuing on. Approximately 3 miles from the I-15 Exit 75, the northern end of this road cuts off of the Valley of Fire Road (NV-169) and heads south (Fig. 02). This is the beginning of Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road (Fig. 03). The road only remains paved for a short distance, then becomes graded dirt. From this point it runs southeast for approximately 20 miles until it reaches the Lake Mead North Shore Road (NV-167), though you probably won’t be able to travel much more than five miles without a high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle.

Road Description: Depending upon where you look, I have seen this road referred to as Bitter Spring Road, Bittersprings Road, Bitterspring Trail, Buffington Pockets Road and Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road. Because it is such a little used track, I have chosen the latter title when referring to this road on all of my pages. It is a narrow, rough, four-wheel drive road that runs through a lonely, barren section of the rugged Muddy Mountains, traveling across wide plains, through narrow canyons and washes, and past old mining operations, forming much of the northern and eastern boundary of the Muddy Mountain Wilderness Study Area. After skirting the Buffington Pockets, it climbs up a ridge that overlooks Hidden Valley. It then descends down and runs across an area known as White Basin, just two miles north of Bitter Ridge. After crossing this basin it follows a wash along West Longwell Ridge before skirting the southern tip of East Longwell Ridge on the northern edge of Bitter Spring Valley. About a mile or so later it reaches Bitter Spring and then becomes Echo Wash which leads all the way to Lake Mead's Echo Bay.  A four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicle is necessary to follow the byway's entire length. It is often known and referred to by the unique areas that it either provides access to or passes through, such as Colorock Quarry, the Buffington Pockets, Hidden Valley, White Basin, the American Borax Mine and Bitter Spring. Below, you will find brief descriptions of these areas with links to separate pages containing pictures and more detailed information when available.

EP-P1040469Colorock Quarry: Just four miles after entering Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road there is a side road that leads to Colorock Quarry. This three mile road runs into an area full of multi-hued colorful layers of Aztec Sandstone, some of which have been quarried for decorative rock. Click here for pictures and more information … Colorock Quarry.

EP-P1040480Buffington Pockets: The Buffington Pockets feature many of the same sandstone formations found in the Valley of Fire. The colorful layers and surprising textures and forms are found in the outcroppings of Aztec Sandstone,  This slick-rock country includes white domes, and red, orange, purple and white "rainbow"-layered rock that are in sharp contrast to the towering dark gray cliffs to the east. Click here for pictures and more information … Buffington Pockets.
EFP-P1040496-P1040500-2Hidden Valley: Just past the Buffington Pockets, Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road circles around an area knows as Hidden Valley. A hiking route from the Colorock Quarry camping area winds through sandstone crags and up a long, steep hillside to a rocky outcrop on a saddle overlooking Hidden Valley. With the right lighting, the view into Hidden Valley with Muddy Peak towering above can be stunning -- both grand and sublime, and is one of the best views in all of southern Nevada. From the overlook, a use-trail continues down to the floor of Hidden Valley. Click here for more pictures and information ... Hidden Valley.
EP-P1040534-2White Basin: Traveling around a high spur of the Muddy Mountains, the road drops into White Basin. To the south looms Muddy Peak, high point of the range. The trail follows dry graveled washes eastward to the remains of the American Borax Mine. Alongside mine tailings lie the mill's foundation, building remnants, thirty-foot-deep water cisterns, mine tunnels, and adits  carved into the hillsides. I hope to get more pictures here the next time I visit this area.
EP-P1040560Bitter Spring: The last main point of interest on the southeastern end of the road is Bitter Spring. This stretch of running water is located along the north side of the wash road. Its water seeps out of the ground among thick stands of feathery tamarisk, before disappearing again in the sandy creek bed. Click here for more pictures and information ... Bitter Spring.
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09/12/2015 Trip Notes: For this trip, myself and two other friends (Jim Herring (top right) and Marc Resnic (bottom) of picture (Fig. 04) rented a 4WD jeep for this journey. We decided to visit the old marble quarry at the end of Colorock Road before heading to Bitter Spring and the end of the road. Our first disappointment of the day was that and area of the road was washed out about a 1/4 mile before reaching the quarry and the old marble house. Because we decided that it was too hot to hike to it and back, we decided to turn around and drive back to the Bitter Spring Country Byway road. For pictures and info on the quarry from a previous trip, click here ...  Colorock Quarry.

(Fig. 03)
Upon our approach to the Buffington Pockets area and the old CCC dam, It became quite evident that this road, as was Colorock Road, were both much worse than they were on my last visit. In addition, upon reaching the dam it was evident that this area hasn't had much rain for quite some time. Nothing was green, everything war parched and bone dry. There was not one sign of water in any of the “pockets”, or anywhere; the grasses were totally parched brown. Compare this picture (Fig. 04) to the picture from my previous trip in (Fig. 24) below. Click here for additional pictures and more information on the Buffington Pockets. We then continued to drive up the road to the highest point in the area, where there are some gorgeous orange Aztec sandstone outcrops (Figs. 05 & 06). As we rounded the orange outcrop in (Fig. 06), we spotted two desert bighorn sheep climbing their way to the top (Figs. 07 & 08). To better see them, click the pictures to enlarge. As we began to decent down into the big wash that crosses the lower valley area we spotted two wild horses (Fig. 09). Following the wash-road southeast across the desert on our way to the bitter spring (middle of the map in Fig. 02), we were presented some quite beautiful scenes and geology (Figs. 10 thru 14). Once we reached the lush, green Bitter Spring (Fig. 15 & 16) we spent a half and hour walking the spring area before we decided to have lunch. We spotted some roadrunners sipping water under a large tree (Figs 17 & 18). We even found a wild horse eating in the grasses along the edge of the spring area (Fig. 19 & 20). For some additional pictures to the Bitter Spring page. About a quarter mile past the spring on our way to the Lake Mead Northshore Road (Fig. 32), we startled two coyotes in the wash who quickly scrambled up the side of a high ridge (Figs. 21 thru 23). For more pictures and info ... Coyotes vs Wolves or Foxes. Stopping for pictures, hiking, water breaks, lunch, etc. this trip took up about 3.5 hours. In addition to the scenery, the spottings of wildlife were an added benefit.
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10/22/2013 Trip Notes: Just another beautiful sunny fall day, Harvey and I decided to take the Ranger out to Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road and travel its entire length, from Valley of Fire Road down to Lake Mead’s North Shore Drive. Before heading out for the twenty plus mile drive across the Muddy Mountain Range, we decided to take the side road that leads to Colorock Quarry. Click here for pictures and a description of this drive … Colorock Quarry. After visiting this area we got back on Bitter Springs Road and headed to the Buffington Pockets area. Because we had both hiked this area before, we didn't spend a lot of time here, though we did stop and take the time to hike up to the top of the dam (Fig. 24). Click here to see the update I made to my original page on the … Buffington Pockets. As we continued to drive up the road, around and beyond the areas we hiked on previous visits, we eventually came to a ridge that contained some gorgeous sandstone outcrops (Fig. 25) and views overlooking Hidden Valley. Click the following link for more pictures of this area … Hidden Valley. The further we traveled, the more the road descended into a deep wash (Figs. 26 & 27).
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(Fig. 25)
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While driving through this deep wash area, we actually came upon a lynx (bobcat) that was running down the wash road in front of us. Before we could get our cameras out for a full-on picture he ran up a side-wash and up its conglomerate side into a small crevice (Fig. 27), where upon he turned and peered out at us. The arrow in (Fig. 27) points to where he went. (Click the picture to enlarge) Because he was so far away from us at this point, it was extremely difficult to get a good picture. The picture in (Fig. 28) below was taken at the 480mm setting on my lens. As we began to climb out of the deep wash, we began to see some of the colorful landscapes that surrounded us (Figs. 29 & 30). At a distance of about 18 miles out, we came upon the area known as Bitter Spring (Fig. 31). Click here for more pictures of this area …  Bitter Spring. At about the 20-mile mark we came to North Shore Drive (Fig. 32) and the end of Bitter Springs Road. Here the road enters into the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and turns into Echo Bay Road (Fig. 33). Unfortunately, a sign indicated that you had to have a registered vehicle to go beyond this point and we were unable to take this road down to Lake Mead. As it was getting late in the afternoon, it was now time to take the two hour journey back to our starting point. This turned out to be a great ride with lots of colorful scenery. Unfortunately, we were not left with enough time to explore some of the many ‘side-roads’ that we had passed on the way down. Guess we will have to save them for another day.
(Fig. 28)
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