Sunday, October 18, 2020

Trail 601 and McCullough Hills Trail, Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, NV

Hiked Saturday, October 10. Hiked the day before the Spring Mountains hike I previously blogged, but I wanted to get the fall foliage shots out before they became obsolete. Sort of intentionally waited until late afternoon, because that's when you get the good light. In fact, didn't get back to the car until it was pretty dark. Had to use my headlamp, for the first time in a while.
This hike started at the Mission Hills trailhead, the same trailhead as my September 18 and September 19 hikes. That's at the west end of Mission Hills Drive, in Henderson.
My actual goal was to get to the second shelter, since I had once hiked past that shelter, coming from the other side. I thought I had seen on the map that the shelter was just past the four mile point. But I went past the four mile marker, then past a marker for the high point on the trail (3120 feet), and did not reach that shelter. Couldn't see it from that point, either, but it could not have been too much further.
That's just by comparing the view of the distant water tanks I could see from the high point, and are in one of the shots from my linked previous hike, from the other side. Sun was setting fast, however. And, with the 4 1/2 miles or so to get back to my car, well, that'll take an hour twenty minutes or so, and that's going to be pretty dark. Which it was!
As I was curving up the last climb towards the high point on the trail, I saw a mountain biker, paused higher up on the trail. I just assumed he was resting, but when he passed me on the way down, he pointed out the huge herd of desert bighorn. Took some distance shots, while they were in the shade.
They stayed in the shade as I looped on to the high point, thinking I would reach the shelter, soon. But, not seeing it, I turned around, there. As I made my way towards to sheep, again, they made their way across the trail, heading higher. Conveniently, this brought them out of the shade, and into the warm setting sunlight. Got some decent shots of the sheep.
That's the mountain biker, the small speck in the next shot. There are some nice viewscapes on these trails Obviously, I never got more than about 4 1/2 miles or so from suburbia. But there are several places on this trail where the homes are hidden, and all you see are the rolling hills and the desert landscape. Yet, for what ever reason, at least when I have hiked here, it's been relatively empty.
I don't recall my exact person count on this hike, but it may have been just 2 or 3 mountain bikers. Even if it was double that, for a 9 mile hike, that's not a lot of traffic. Yeah, it's summer, but the temperatures were in the low hundreds for a high. For someone semi-aclimatated to desert temperatures, this wasn't bad.
The desert bighorn were a pleasant surprise. I guess I know they're out there, and I know I can get a close look at them down at Hemenway Park, in Boulder City. But I prefer to see them in a more natural setting.
Also, although I have seen desert bighorn on numerous occasions, this has got to be the biggest single herd I've seen, with the exception of Hemenway Park.
Still several hikes to blog. The week before this hike, I did some hiking around Valley of Fire State Park. There was also a local trip, to the Huntington. Also, a bit of hiking in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. So, lots of stuff still to blog.
No hikes this last week, though. We'll see about next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment