Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Las Vegas Hiking: Ice Box Canyon in Red Rock

I haven’t been out for a hike in a couple of weeks now, but the last time I went, we headed up to Ice Box Canyon in Red Rock. The weather was sunny and clear, but as soon as we left the sunshine behind us, the temperature dropped noticeably. The rocky trail led us into the narrow canyon and then dropped us into the wash, where we scrambled over the rocks and boulders until we reached the dry waterfall. In the desert, these areas are often dry until rain or snow fill the streams. For now, the only signs of water are dark stains on the rocks and cliffs. The only sour note of the day was the trash we saw—my hiking buddy Angie packed out two bags full of some careless hikers’ lunches, leaving us both to ponder, “What the…?”
Photo information: My pictures of Ice Box Canyon

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Hiking in Calico Basin

I got out for a hike last Monday, which made up for not getting out later in the week. My son and I hiked in Calico Basin, but instead of sticking to the boardwalk around the meadow, we took the trail marked for Cannibal Crag, a popular rock-climbing spot. A short distance from the trailhead, the trail takes you close to the rocks. The rocks aren’t as immediately vertical here as they are in other sections of Red Rock, making rock scrambling on the lower rocks much easier. We found one mammoth boulder with chalk and climbing tools embedded in it—it looked like a great place to train. We followed a seasonal stream bed, which I believe connects with Calico Spring, although we didn't spot any running water, just lots of greenery. Red Spring, Calico Spring, and Ash Spring are all in this area. We wound up in a boxy canyon that my son wanted to boulder up and over, but I nixed that idea. The elephant-like rock formation in my pictures was taken not far from that point.
My pictures in Calico Basin: The climbing rock, greenery along the trail, the elephant rock. For more information about outdoor destinations around Las Vegas, visit my NileGuide page.