Saturday, February 29, 2020
I didn't actually read it much before I hiked. I should really stop doing that.
In any event, from the trailhead, looking northish, you pretty much see what's in the first two pictures. The first one shows the trail, very well-defined. The second is a bit to the east, showing a marsh that I did not visit.
All of this would have been underwater less than 20 years ago, by the way. So the tamarisk is also a relatively recent arrival in this basin, and they are trying to keep it from completely taking over the wash.
The walls here are a conglomerate of mixed-stone sizes, similar to White Rock Canyon, but more colorful (not white!). Maybe more like the stuff that composes the top ofLiberty Bell Arch.
[Both links are mostly of the same hike, but the first one had more pictures of the actual White Rock Canyon].
On my way through one of the narrower areas, a large led-hiking group was coming down. Their leader pointed out an owl nest, in the wall. He also pointed out a LOT of owl droppings, dripping from the walls.
River Mountains Loop trail. That's a paved (or at least, mostly paved) trail that circles the River Mountains, which overlook Lake Mead and the Colorado River (Hence, the River Mountains).
So I was initially just going to reconnoiter, but she said to go ahead, so I did.
Easy hike, though not recommended for high summer. If you go in summer, bring lots to drink, and take it easy.
Sunday, February 2, 2020
Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area largely abuts the city of Henderson. Much of the open land to the south and west of Henderson is (hopefully) permanently protected by the Conservation Area.
multiple official access points for hiking into the Conservation Area, but the BLM website only directs you to one (Petroglyph Canyon).
For the rest, I had to look elsewhere. Bird and Hike is by far the most detailed extant site I know of for hiking in the Las Vegas area.
Shadow Canyon access point. The free version of the All Trails app and website will also direct you to the trailhead.
It's pretty straightforward. From either I-215 (southwestern Beltway) or Saint Rose Parkway, take Eastern Avenue south. Where it splits (about two miles south of Saint Rose Parkway), stay left, on to Anthem Parkway. Two and a half miles later, turn left on Atcheley Drive. Google Maps suggests you go straight for one mile, including the .6 mile after Atcheley transitions to Somersworth Drive. After the previously-referenced one mile, turn left on Shadow Canyon Drive. Note that this will be the second time you see Shadow Canyon Drive.
Further to the north, you may see I-11, the Boulder City Bypass, that heads from the Beltway, south of Boulder City (and separated by a large mountain), and around, to Hoover Dam. Scanning even further north brings you to Henderson and, eventually, the Las Vegas Valley. The Las Vegas Strip is somewhat west of north.
Bird and Hike gives the round trip distance at about 7.5 miles, with a net altitude gain of a bit under 2100 feet. There is essentially no shade on this trip, and no protection from the elements. Probably best to avoid the heat of a summer day, or especially windy times. But it's a very nice late afternoon hike, provided you are prepared to hike in the dark.