Monday, June 29, 2020
Started my hike around 5:30pm, from the Shadow Canyon access point, off of Shadow Canyon Drive, east of Anthem Parkway, in Henderson. The venerable Bird and Hike site gives directions, here. At that time, my phone said it was 102 degrees in Henderson (not sure if it might have been a degree or two cooler up in Anthem).
Here's my Prius, at the trailhead. :D There were no other cars in the small lot (room for about five cars), nor on the street adjacent to the lot. This boded well for my hope to social distance.
From the small parking area, there's a paved, one-lane road designated as "Anthem East Trail." Walk towards the detention barrier, and take the curving route to a small structure. Anthem East Trail splits off somewhat before you get to the detention barrier, so don't leave the wash bottom prematurely.
I've hiked from this trailhead about five times previously, but always on BLM Trail 404. I've summited Black Mountain from the southern side of the loop, and made it a fair distance up, but not to the top, on the northern loop of Trail 403.
At least initially 404 pretty much heads towards Park Peak, before making a late turn, towards Black Mountain. Just before that trail begins its steep ascent up Black Mountain, Trail 402 splits off, to the south.
I walked at a leisurely pace, drinking often. And it probably dropped 4 degrees or so by the time I reached the summit. There was alsoa nice breeze, which made the heat easier to handle.
Easy to follow, except there was no signage at a junction where the trail split, again. There was a fair-sized Joshua Tree, there. My All Trails app said to go right, which made sense, so I went that way.
So it turns out that 100 degree-plus temperatures do wonders for social distancing on the trail!
Sunday, June 7, 2020
Josephine Peak is ground I've covered before. Looks like I blogged this trail in 2015 and 2016. Definitely clearer weather, then!
I hit the trail late morning. Most people look to have started earlier, as several large groups and numerous smaller ones were heading down as I headed up. Most (but definitely not all) wore facial coverings, at least when they approached. This was less true the later it got.
I asked one couple heading down if the trail took them above the clouds, and was slightly disappointed to learn that it did not.
Ridiculous amounts of (invasive) Spanish broom were in bloom. Very fragrant. The clouds made for some interesting views of the obscured mountains and trees.
Being my first significant hike in several months, I felt pretty tired by the time I reached the top. Very fast coming down, though.
It's about 7.5 miles round trip, and about 1900 feet of elevation gain. Pretty easy to keep on the right track. The only semi-possible way to get lost would be to turn off the road and head towards Strawberry Peak, and that trail, while far from hidden, is not nearly as prominent as the fire road.