the fall Mojave National Preserve Conservancy service trip and star party is fast approaching. With the federal budget standoff temporarily settled and partial shutdown over, I'll be heading out this way again, soon.
Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers (myself, included) will be there with their telescopes a that evening, following the Conservancy's service work elsewhere in the Preserve.
Directly across Black Canyon Road from the group campground is the Hole in the Wall visitor center and campground. And, adjacent to the visitor center, is a trailhead for the Barber Peak loop and Rings trail.
October 2010 (part of my original 100 hikes in a year) and October 2012. Could have sworn I also hiked this after one of our spring star parties before, but none popped up in a search of my previous hikes. It's likely I hiked it before I started my hiking blog, since we've been doing bi-annual star parties (and the Conservancy has been doing bi-annual service trips) for at least five years.
The main difference I noted (and the reason why I think doing clockwise is backwards) is that the signage is not as good if you go clockwise. I lost the trail a few times going this way, which never happened when going couunterclockwise.
The final difference for this hike was that it was spring, and there are more flowers in the spring than in the fall. As it turned out, even in May, it was a week or so early for the Cholla cactus.
Going left, meanwhile, would take you to Mid-Hills Campground. I think I may try taking that route next time, just to see some different territory. I don't expect the scenery will be much different from what I've seen on the Barber Peak Loop, or my hikes to Table Top Mountain (also done twice, in April 2011 and May 2013. In fact, the Mid-Hills trail would pretty much parallel Black Canyon Road as you head north. Along the way, you'd pass Table Top Mountain, well to your east. Hence, walking the Mid-Hills trail really would be just to cover some new trail miles, without adding much in the way of new views.
the Lava Tube.
once before. I'd like to take a longer hike there. The problem is that I'd love to be there in the morning or evening, but the geography of where I will be and where the Dunes are make that impractical.
Meanwhile, the problem with the Lava Tubes is that a high clearance vehicle is recommended. So I'd either have to drive very slowly with my non-high clearance vehicle, or I'd have to walk quite some distance just to get to the "trailhead."
this particular state park has been closed for quite some time, ever since the state's own budget crisis, and remains closed "until further notice."
At any rate, the Barber Peak Loop is about six miles around, with relatively modest altitude changes. The only complicating factor is the Rings section, where you will need some level of agility and/or strength to climb or descend the rings in Banshee Canyon.
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4 days ago
Well, disappointingly, the official star party has been rescheduled for Saturday, November 30. The Conservancy felt that the government shutdown didn't leave them with enough days to publicize the event. So we'll try again on November 30.ReplyDelete
In the meantime, the Preserve IS open, but some maintenance has been deferred. Some telescope owners may still be at Black Canyon this Saturday (October 26), as well. I myself have not decided what I'll be doing this weekend.