La Madre Spring (RRCNCA) - Trip Notes for 03/25/2016

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This page last updated on 06/15/2017
(Fig 01)
03/25/2016 Trip Notes:  Today Bob Croke, Jm Herring, Ron Ziance and myself decided to go to Red Rock and hike the La Madre Spring trail. As you can see in the picture (Fig. 01) of the hot air baloons we saw on the way out to the park, it was a beautiful day. Starting from the Willow Springs parking area we hiked up Rocky Gap Road to the trailhead at the base of the trail that runs a canyon into the La Madre Wilderness Area with the White Sandstone cliffs to the east and the limestone mountains to the west. About three-quarter of the way up this arduous, nearly 1,000 foot climb, we stopped to explore a couple of old cement foundations (Fig. 04) that bordered both sides of the old road. 60-70 years ago, some people tried to build house and a shooting/archery range here before it became a National Recreation Area. When we reached the dam area, I was sorely disappointed, as you can tell from the comparison pictures in the two collages in (Figs. 05 & 06). The pictures in (Fig. 06) were taken during a hike in the middle October, 2012. (con't below)
(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 06)
Trip Notes Continued: We then decided to try and find an old stone miner's cabin that was located more that a half mile further up the mountain. Hiking along the side of the stream that was flowing down the ravine from the head of the spring, the trail crossed the water a couple of times (Fig. 07). There were a couple of places along this trail that required some minor scrambling and a few slippery areas that presented some potential falls into the ravine. It did, however, present several areas where we were able to see a couple of small waterfalls (Fig. 08). Along the way we observed several lizards of varying types (Fig. 09 & 10). The lizard in (Fig. 09) is a ... Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister). I believe the one in (Fig. 10) is a Western Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus gracilis)Just after the dam we even spotted a huge squirrel (Fig. 11). His tail (partially hidden behind the scrub in the rocks) was so big that at a distance I though he might be a beaver. Nearly a 1/2 mile past the dam we encountered a spot that presented us with more of a "slip-and-fall" situation than we were comfortable with, and decided to turn around and head back (Fig. 12). (As we learned later from a couple of other hikers, the stone miner's cabin was only another 350 yards beyond this point - oh well - next time). After we go back to the dam we decided to sit in the shade of a big tree and have lunch before heading back (Fig. 13). Shortly after reaching Rocky Gap Road, we spotted more than four bighorn sheep roaming the cliffs on the north side of the road (Fig. 14). Picture (Fig. 15) was the last shot I got. For more pictures of desert bighorn sheep go to ... Desert Bighorn Sheep Index. Even though we didn't reach the miner's cabin, it was a great hike.
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)

(Fig.  09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)

(Fig. 14)
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