Sloan Canyon NCA - 01/21/2016 Trip Notes

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This page last updated on 05/25/2020
(Fig. 01)
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Directions: From St. Rose Parkway (NV-146), turn onto Executive Airport Drive. At the intersection (light) of Volunteer Blvd and Via Inspirada, continue straight onto Via Inspirada. This road then curves left onto Bicentennial Parkway. About 2.3 miles from St Rose Pkwy, turn right onto Via Firenza and go to the end. At the junction of Democracy Road, turn right and bypass the barrier onto a dirt road. Work your way west toward the main power line. Follow the power line until you see a two-track dirt road on your left, just before pole number 12084. Follow this road south for approximately 1 mile to a cleared parking area (Fig. 02). From here exit the parking area on the east side walk to the Sloan Canyon Wash. Then hike to the original trailhead and the entrance of Sloan Canyon. A high clearance vehicle is recommended to reach the parking circle.

(Fig. 03)
General Description: Formed in 2002, the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area (shown in green on Fig. 03) encompasses 48,438 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), located only a short distance south of Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada in the northwestern portion of the McCullough Mountain Range. It surrounds an additional area that has been designated as the North McCullough Wilderness Area. The Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site, found in the south western portion, is the centerpiece of this conservation area. The Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site is one of the most significant cultural resources in Southern Nevada. Archaeologists believe its 318 recorded rock art panels with approximately 1,200 individual petroglyphs were created by native cultures from the Archaic to the historic era. Experts believe the earliest of these were made by ancestral Puebloans in the Archaic period, but other tribes may have continued to add petroglyphs in later years. Archaeological evidence suggests resources within Sloan Canyon may have been used as long ago as 7,000 years. It has been called the Sistine Chapel of Native American rock art due to their size and significance. For more information on Sloan Canyon, click the following link ... Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area.

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01/21/2016 Trip Notes: On this third visit to this area, I tagged along with the rock-hounds from Henderson's Heritage Park Senior Center. From the parking circle, considered by some the trailhead, the trail runs east into Sloan Wash and the beginning of BLM 101 Trail that turns upstream (south) following the wash. In about 0.6 miles, the trail arrives at the historic trailhead (Fig. 05), passes around the cable fence, and passes through the old boulder barricade to the trail information sign (Fig. 01). The sign provides a map of the trail and information about the area. Beyond the trail sign, the route continues up the gravel wash in a fairly narrow, shallow canyon. After a minute or two, the canyon widens and the sides lay back (Fig. 06). At 0.64 miles out from the trailhead register and kiosk (Fig. 01), a side wash on the west merges with Sloan Canyon Wash. This confluence is marked with a trail sign indicating that the HorseTrail (BLM 200 Trail) turns right, out of Sloan Canyon Wash, and runs up the side canyon. Note that the Horseman's Trail is suitable for horses and does not require any scrambling, although it is about 3/4-miles longer to the petroglyph gallery. The BLM Trail 100 continues straight ahead up the wash to the petroglyph gallery. Half of our group took the trail to the right and the other half of the group continued straight ahead. Taking the BLM Trail 100 involves navigating a series of 3-4 pour-overs like the ones seen in (Figs. 07 & 08). At about a mile out you encounter the largest non-trivial (3rd-class) water-polished 10-foot pour-over to climb. This pour-over has a very large boulder stuck between the outer walls of the canyon (Fig. 09) Though somewhat intimating, it isn't too bad if you are willing to climb up on the most exposed part. (con't below)

(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)

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Trip Notes Continued: Just above the 10-foot pour-over, the canyon jogs back to the south (left) and widens considerably. The view in (Fig. 09) is actually looking back towards the pour-over. This straight section of wash is the area known as the Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Gallery. There are amazing petroglyphs on both sides of the canyon here. The rocky strewn hill on the west side of the wash is loaded with thousands of boulders with many containing anywhere from one to more than a dozen glyphs. As we walked up and down the wash, some of us took to climbing up the sides of the hill (Figs. 10 & 11) in order to obtain better pictures of petroglyphs. The collage in (Fig. 12) is just a sampling of the dozens of petroglyph pictures I've taken here. Click here to view more 50 petroglyph pictures ... More Petroglyph Pictures From Sloan Canyon. It seemed the more we explored, the more we found. The find by the two ladies in (Fig. 13) shows a rare petroglyph of what appears to a be person riding either a horse of donkey. At this point, some in the group returned by hiking back via the BLM Trail 200. About six of us opted to "slide" down the pour-over that we climbed on the way up. The picture in (Fig. 14) is a staged picture of me after I descended the pour-over on a previous visit. Today, Robert Croke (Fig. 15) volunteered to lead the way. The picture in (Fig. 16) is a view looking down at Sloan Canyon Wash from the top of the pour-over. After descending the slippery pour-over, it was pretty much easy going the rest of the way back to the trailhead and the parking circle. Click here for more pictures and descriptions of my previous visits to Sloan Canyon ... Previous Visits to Sloan Canyon. I'm sure that I've still only seen less than 20% of the petroglyph rock panel found at this site. I will definitely return again and do some more "investigating".
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11/21/2013 Trip Notes: On this visit to this area we approached the area from Bicentennial Parkway. Not only was this a much shorter, easier route, it was accessible by our van. Once we reached the beginning of the road leading to the trailhead, we followed the road about 1.1 miles to the actual trailhead. We then began the 1.1 mile hike up the loose gravel filled wash to the petroglyph area. Stopping short of the actual site, I detoured up the lower portion of the “loop trail”, BLM Trail 200. View Previous Visits to Sloan Canyon

02/21/2012 Trip Notes: I made this trip with Harvey Smith, one of the regular rock-hound hikers, who volunteered the driving with his new 4x4 truck. The drive along the power line access road was extremely rough and required the four-wheel drive in a couple of spots. Once we reached the trailhead which starts at the beginning of the North McCullough Wilderness Area, the hike up the loose gravel filled wash to the petroglyph gallery was relatively easy, excepting the climb up the last of the three wash-overs. View Previous Visits to Sloan Canyon