Fire Wave & Kaolin Wash – 04/23/2015 Trip Notes

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This page last updated on 04/10/2018

(Fig. 01)
Fire Wave Hike Trail
2015 Fire Wave Hiking Party
(Fig. 03)
04/23/2015 Trip Notes: As noted on the previous page, eight of us made this hike. The pictures in the collage above (Fig. 03), show various shots I captured of our group as we hiked along the trail and wash. The map in (Fig. 02) shows the route that we hiked. From the trailhead, opposite the parking lot, you begin walking toward the large sandstone monolith known as Gibraltar Rock (Fig. 01). As you round Gibraltar Rock and head south, you end up walking across a large area of sandstone slick rock that is covered with thousands of smooth polished stones (Fig. 04). How they ended up strewn all over the top of these sandstone ridges is always a mystery to me. While hiking the wash later on, Blake noticed a layer of "top soil" in some areas. We then theorized that these rocks may be the end result of a layer of top soil being washed and blown away over a period of hundreds of years? After reaching the Fire Wave (Figs. 05 & 06), I hiked up onto a ridge to capture a better view of the area. As you can see in (Fig. 07), the surrounding area is awash in beautifully colored sandstone hues that range from red, to brilliant orange, to a deep lavender, to golden yellows. Hiking down into the wash, middle left edge of (Fig. 07), it runs southwest, snaking its way through this beautifull landscape. Even though the wash starts out relatively wide (Fig. 08), it’s not long before it begins to narrow into an almost “slot-canyon” (Figs.09 & 10). Its bottom surface changes from soft sand to a hard sandstone surface (Fig. 11) making walking a little tricky. It then begins to open up again (Fig. 12) until you reach the road (Fig. 13). As Bill was picking us up to take us back to the trailhead, we spotted several bighorn sheep (Figs. 14-17) munching on the dry brush out in the desert area alongside the road.
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