Escarpment Trail at Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway Center

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EFP-Escarpment Trail
(Fig. 01)
Escarpment Trail Hike-2
(Fig. 02)
Trail Description: The picture in (Fig. 01) is a view of the escarpment (the long, precipitous, cliff-like ridge of rock that was formed thousands of years ago as the result of a faulting or fracturing of the earth's crust) that is located behind the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway center at Mt. Charleston. The length of this loop trail is approximately 4.2 miles in length and runs from a low point of 6,578 feet to a high point of 7,060 feet, giving it a total elevation gain of 482 feet. Refer to the map in (Fig. 02). The lower portions of this trail were once part of a 9-hole golf course, which is the reason some of the trail is “paved”. You can see part of the “paved” section to the right of center in (Fig. 01) as it climbs steeply and heads toward the western edge of the escarpment.
07/09/2015 Trip Notes: Blake Smith, Bob Croke, Ron Ziance and I decided to drive up to the new Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway Center at Mt. Charleston for a morning hike on the 4.5 mile Escarpment Trail located behind the visitor center. It was a gorgeous sunny day with the temps 10-15 degrees cooler than the past couple of weeks. As you can see from the picture in (Fig. 01) the top of the escarpment itself runs for more than a mile and a half in length and, with an elevation gain of nearly 500 feet, looks rather intimidating. With all of the elevation gain in the first quarter of the trail, we were all doing a little “huffing and puffing” by the time we reached the high elevation point (Fig. 02). One very nice thing about this trail is that they have spaced about five benches throughout its length to give you a place to rest and take a drink of water. In fact, these unique wooden benches are made from fallen trees and are quite beautiful (Figs. 03, 04, & 05). The good news is that when hiking the trail in this direction, once you reach its high point, the remainder of the hike is downhill. As you near the half-way point of the hike, you are afforded great views of the Resort at Mt. Charleston (Fig. 06) as well as the new visitor center (Fig. 07). As you reach the eastern portion of the escarpment and begin your decent down, there is a nice view looking down Kyle Canyon Road with the Las Vegas Mountain Range in the far distance (Fig. 08). After rounding the eastern most portion of the trail (Fig. 02) you begin hiking along the base of the escarpment as you head back to the starting point (Fig. 09). When we finally reached the visitors center, we were surprised to find a group of bluegrass players that had assembled for an impromptu jam session (Figs. 10 & 11). They were so good that we decided to stick around; grabbed our lunches and sat and listened them for nearly an hour (Fig. 12).
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
EFP-Escarpment Trail 2
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
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