March 24, 2011

Arizona Hot Springs 02.21.2009

This is a Hot Spring hike! This time, we dragged my husband's brother to hike together. February in Las Vegas is still cold enough that hot spring is a nice treat at the end of long hike.
Arizona Hot Spring is located off of the I-95 coming from NV, passing the Hoover Dam and going into AZ. It's about 4hr, 6miles round trip hike. I recommend doing this during fall and winter. Summer can be tough. Plus who wants to dip in HOT spring during our scorching hot summer here??

Beginning of hiking
The hike started out shallow, and gradually we were walking into bigger and deeper canyon wash. It's a wash so lots of loose rock, from big boulders to tiny rocks.. They all look like volcano rocks and not river rocks.

 Walking to the hot spring is easier because the wash is about 2hr long of gradual down hill. Walking down , down , down, all the way to the side of Colorado river! The sight of water was so refreshing to see. If our ground wasn't too high, we were so tempted to jump in the water!

Now we have to turn around and keep hiking to inland back to get to the spring.  From this point on, we had to go up and down on small hills. The footing gets narrower and steeper. After we got through those section, there goes the hot spring water running down. Just hike up along the stream of water (good idea to have water shoes on because it gets really slippery), we get to the first platform. This site is right below where the hot spring is located. People change clothes here, have lunch, and/or take a rest.

Don't be afraid of height now. HERE, we have to climb up pretty much VERTICAL ladder. Don't look down !
This case, my husband's brother said he had tender feet and those radder steps were just hurting his feet big time,, well,,, so he says!?  (my husband and I don't have "tender" feet, so it was no problem!).

Talah~! We are here!!!! It kinda looks like public bath!?

1st pool
3rd pool
There are total of 3 pools. The first one is the largest but the least hottest. The second one, which I didn't post picture, is small. The third one is the hottest one because it is where the spring is coming out of the ground. The rule #1 and the most important thing when you are in natural spring is that not to dip your head in the water. Parasites can go into your body through ear, nose and mouth. It is the common knowledge everyone!


March 20, 2011

Anniversary Narrow and Peak 2.9.2010

All around the Lake Mead, there are full of hiking trails in Las Vegas. This one we went is called Anniversary Narrow and Anniversary Peak. Not sure where the names were derived from. This is one of the most PICTURE BEAUTIFUL place we've ever been. It is about 1 1/2 hr from Las Vegas.

Once we got off the Northshore road, we drove his 4x4 truck on the dirt and gravel road. We were glad that we did not take my sedan. It would have been too rough a drive, plus the car might have gotten injured :-o
Actual hike starts in the middle of the wash. We walked wide, gravel wash for 1/2 hr. This area was used for mining long ago. We saw tunnels, mining holes, left over cables, small dams and many other debris and tools to confirm those mining days.
All of a sudden, is the entrance of the Narrows! 
The narrow is a present distance. It is simply amazing how the force of water had created the shape and this narrow. We just wanted to keep taking pictures.

Through the narrow, back into the wide wash. We walked another mile or so. Here, we had to get out of the wash by taking narrower side wash as a passage that lead to another mountain edge. From here on, we had to go across the foot of mountain to get to the top. The climbing to the saddle was very steep with loose rock. All of a sudden we realized that we were in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE! Ok, back to the quest. keep moving our butt to the top!

Anyways, once we got to the top, the saddle, we saw "BOWL OF FIRE". It was such a WOW factor view!! Unfortunately the picture doesn't give the view justice.

Get back down is easy, just go back where you came from HA'!  This whole hike may be harder if it is in summer. Pretty much whole way is in the wash, so the hike will be directly under the full sun, except the Narrows. 
Thank you for taking a journey with me today!

March 15, 2011

Cave Canyon and Fossil Canyon 4.6.2010

Red Rock Canyon State Park offers many great hiking spots. This particular hike is NOT in the park, but rather just right across from the park on the south side, near the horse corrals.

It starts out easy hike, passing 2 horse corrals and eventually walking into the canyon. The canyon then divides into two ways. The left is to Cave Canyon, and the right is to Fossil Canyon. We went to Cave Canyon first. There were visible path we could follow, walking around big boulders.
The area here was once in the deep ocean, so if you take a close look at the stones and boulders, you can see fossils. But more are visible down in the Fossil Canyon section later. The trail is somewhat steep, but fairly quickly we got to the first small cave, well they are more or less "big hole in the wall".

Sadly, We saw some graffiti in those mini caves. I wish people can be more respectful to our history. These are pieces of evidence that life has existed thousands of years ago.

After this point, we were basically stair-stepping big time on the rock up to the main cave. No need to use ropes or anything, but each step is big so we had to use hands a lot to hold on and keep the balance. 

The entrance to the main cave is behind the big boulder. It can be missed easily. Well I missed it. My husband found it.  Once you step in it, I was like "OH MY GOD!" I was speechless. It's HUGE and goes deep in the back about 70-80yards. Of course it's almost pitch black as it goes back further as sunlight doesn't reach that far.                                                                                                                                        

Inside the cave there are lots of middens. They are made of trash, urine, plants and all other materials that ancient people left behind from thousand of years ago. They are all solidified and now like rocks. They are simply amazing. I felt the history right in front of my eyes!
I have a lot more pictures that I can't possibly put all on this blog, so request them if you want to see more!

OK. Now it's time to go to the Fossil Canyon. So just turn around and go back to where we came from, but this time we are taking the other trail at the fork in the path. This trail can go a long way and there are full of fossils like below. 
We walked about a mile or so in this canyon. Since we didn't see where it ended we turned around, climbed out of the canyon to hilltop where we walked back to the horse corral. Here is the view from the hillside.

This day, we hiked about 5 hours only because we did two canyon altogether and fiddle fart around along the way. It was Great Discovery Day!!

March 8, 2011

Sunrise Mountain 3.06.2011

Today we had Nascar race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Since it didn't start till this afternoon, we went to Sunrise Mountain, which is also known as Frenchman Mountain, located in the east side of Las Vegas, for a morning hike.
Getting started
getting steeper
This hiking trail has no tree, no brushes, nothing. It starts steep right from the beginning and goes for about 20min. Then the path gets flat for a second. Right there, we are already looking down the road and the view is nice. Motorcycles and off-road vehicle were allowed on this tail once before, but now they are prohibited. I see why. It's very steep, narrow and loose rock everywhere. Anyways, once you get to the flat part, there goes steeper path and switchback up to the hill top.

Once switchbacks is over, by then, we had been climbing uphill about 40min. Remember, loose rocks make your feet and legs extra tired, so we were already huffing and puffing at this point. The view is really nice from that point.
WHOORAY! Oh that was steep but short hike!  WRROOONG! My husband and I saw the big drop and up some more. This time the steep hiking path seems to be more vertical.

 ascend back to the top

And yes, the trail gets a lot steeper and bigger loose rocks. We had to use our hands on the ground sometimes just so that we could keep our balance without sliding back down. After all it took us about 1 1/2 hr to get to the top. The view is spectacular. We could see entire Las Vegas below us and Mt. Charleston in a distance. LVMS was also visible from the top. 
Top!! las vegas strip on the left, Mt.charleston on the right
 On the way back down can be more dangerous than coming up. We had to use our leg breaks pretty much the whole time descending. My husband slipped a couple of times but nothing major. It took us 45 minutes to get back down, but I don't think this is average. I think it is better to take time, one step at a time for descending. You really don't want to fall in the rock face down!!
Good cardio exercise for sure!


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