Showing posts with label desert hiking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label desert hiking. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Zion National Park, Utah 2022

At the top of the Watchman Trail


My groom and I visited the beautiful Zion National Park on a weekday but it was still crowded. We drove the almost 3-hour drive from Las Vegas, NV, and got to the park entrance at 10am, local Utah time. Unfortunately, all the parking was full and the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive was closed. Since it was a weekday, the shuttle wasn't running. We were told that we could hike the Canyon Overlook trail but space at its trailhead was very limited. We could also hike any of the trails from the Visitor's Center. We stopped at the Visitor's Center so that I could purchase a Zion NP t-shirt and baseball cap, then headed to the Canyon Overlook trailhead. 

The drive up and through the Zion Mt. Carmel Highway and tunnel was spectacular! Unfortunately, there was no parking available at the Canyon Overlook trailhead as well as along the road. Directly across the trailhead is another parking area but it's for "small vehicles".....which we didn't have (GMC Yukon SLT). There were so many people and cars! We drove past the trailhead and turned around and hoped we'd find parking on our way back, but no such luck. We ended up driving back to the Visitor's Center and hiked The Watchman Trail. The trail is very popular and views along the trail as well at the top of the foothill are amazing, photos don't do it justice! The trail doesn't bring you to the top of the Watchman mountain, just to the top of the foothill. But the views from the foothill of Watchman mountain and the southern area of the park are stunning, nonetheless!

We plan to re-visit Zion, stay overnight in either Springdale or Hurricane. Then get an early start in the morning to make sure we can get to those hikes along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive that I had originally planned for this trip - Riverside Walk and the Emerald Pools Loop. And the Canyon Overlook Trail along the Zion Mt. Carmel Highway.

Enjoy this YouTube video I put together of our visit to Zion National Park.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Kraft Mountain Loop Trail - Desert Hiking

Kraft Mountain Loop Trail
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada

Another perfect day for desert hiking! Today Ronnie and I hiked the 3.1 mile loop around Kraft Mountain. Although the parking lot was filling quickly, we managed to find parking at the Sandstone Road trailhead. We hiked counter-clockwise as the ascent is less gradual in that direction. There were many boulderers arriving and already many in the boulder area. Many hikers out with their dogs were enjoying the day as well. Enjoy some photos taken of our hike.






The start of our hike. We hiked counter-clockwise and started our hike (East) from the Sandstone Road trailhead. Left: Ronnie with the pink Kraft Mountain in the background. 

Entering the Kraft Boulders area

Bouldering, boulders, kraft mountain, red rock, la madre mountain wilderness

Entering the La Madre Mountain Wilderness Area

Along the trail

Beautiful formations

  
Along the trail
We came up the trail that leads to Turtlehead Peak




There were two, short, steep, sections that required rock scrambling (Class 2). For someone with two knees replaced with Titanium, Ronnie crushed these sections!




White Domes Trail - Desert Hiking

Slot Canyon of White Domes Trail
Valley Of Fire State Park, Nevada


The last hike Ronnie and I did at Valley Of Fire SP, was the White Domes trail. What a great trail this is. It's a 1.1 mile loop which is moderately trafficked and has many stunning views!! Like Mouse's Tank, the White Domes day use area has picnic tables and bathrooms. There are also several boulders for the kids to scramble upon.

Other Valley Of Fire SP hikes:





 From the trailhead at the parking lot, cross over a crest and admire the terrain below! Beautiful sandstone formations line the trail down to the desert floor with the White Domes on your far left.













At the desert floor you'll reach an open area. This 'amphitheater' is surrounded by formations. Also in this open area are the "fake ruins" (right) of a 1965 production The Professionals. Valley Of Fire SP is a popular filming location for commercials, films, TV shows and photo shoots.  

















 The trail continues and immediately drops into the Kaolin Wash. The walk along the wash is short and you're immediately at the opening of the slot canyon. 






















Entrance of Slot Canyon
























As you step into the slot canyon the walls quickly become narrow. But the canyon is only 200 feet long. Stepping out of the slot canyon you are on the wash again. But the trail continues up to your right, between large sandstone formations. 






The well-marked trail winds its way between formations of yellow, pink and beige. 















Found a small arch

Pink, yellow and beige formations


Another arch

The trail curves to the right and you'll know when the trailhead is near. There are a couple of cement steps which leads you around the corner of a large formation, and up along the side of White Domes road to the picnic and parking area. This hike is short, but there are so many views, colors and formations in this short hike! Highly, highly recommend!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Rainbow Vista Trail - Desert Hiking

Pano taken from Rainbow Vista trailhead
Valley Of Fire State Park, Nevada


The second trail we hiked was the Rainbow Vista trail. Right off the bat (at the trailhead) you'll see rock formations of gorgeous colors! Past reviews have this trail as poorly marked, but I didn't find that so. 

Other Valley Of Fire hikes: 
Petroglyph Canyon Trail to Mouse's Tank
White Domes




Looks like an elephant head on the right side of this photo


Can you see him?

Looking down the trail of the outcrop

Very windy at the top of the outcrop!

But you have to agree.....

......gorgeous views!

Dogs are allowed on the trail so long as
they are kept on leash no longer than 6 feet.

The end of Rainbow Vista Trail
Overlooking Fire Canyon

Petroglyph Canyon Trail to Mouse's Tank - Desert Hiking

Petroglyph Canyon Trail to Mouse's Tank
Valley Of Fire State Park, Nevada

Located just a little over an hour drive from Las Vegas, Ronnie and I did a day trip out to Valley Of Fire State Park in Overton, NV. Before hiking Mouse's Tank, Rainbow Vista and White Domes trails, we stopped at the Visitor Center/Rangers Station in hopes of purchasing a color Trail Map of the park. Unfortunately, they had run out of those but were handing out an 8x10" copies of printed maps. Being the weekend and great weather, the park was packed! Enjoy some photos of our first day hike at the Valley Of Fire State Park - the Petroglyph Canyon Trail to Mouse's Tank.



Balancing Rock
The trail (more of a walk) to Balancing Rock is heavily trafficked out and back. It starts at the Visitor Center. This photo was taken from our car as we rode past it.











Petroglyph Canyon Trail to Mouse's Tank
The Petroglyph Canyon Trail begins off White Domes Road, and is also called Mouse’s Tank Road. It's about a mile up from the park's Visitor Center and a picnic area is located on the opposite side of the road. The picnic area is covered and has parking and several picnic tables. A sign at the start shows examples of Petroglyphs and their possible translations. 



It is advised to stay on the trail and not touch the Petroglyphs as they can be easily damaged and cannot be repaired or replaced. 

Surprisingly, this photo (left) and the next 4 photos turned out okay for being taken with my iPhone on zoom, as well as using the "Crop" function on my photo editor.









The trail is moderately trafficked and is an easy hike on level terrain. Left: Ronnie















Gorgeous rock formations everywhere
 you turn along this trail!




















Mouse's Tank
The end of the trail - Mouse's Tank is a natural basin in the rock where water collects after each rainfall. It is named for the Southern Paiute Indian renegade "Little Mouse" who used Valley Of Fire in the 1890's as a hideout after being accused of killing prospectors in the area. 

Pano of canyon from above Mouse's Tank

Desert Sand - it's like walking at the beach, but there's no ocean!

Cormier Magness (5.6) - Multi pitch Rock Climb

 It was a short, but brutal hot day for us! But still glad to be able to get out and onto a couple of pitches of the Cormier Magness route o...