Tag Archives: desert

La Madre Cabin Trail

RED ROCK CANYON NATIONAL CONSERVANCY

Activity: Day Hike, Spelunking (sorta…)

Distance 5.2 miles, 1597’ elevation change, duration 5 hours, rated Hard

Date: November 19, 2019

This hike has so many wonderful facets to it. I loved this hike and highly recommend it.

First of all to me Red Rock Canyon is a must do for anyone going to Vegas. There are more than bright lights, and slot machines to Las Vegas and if you have never at least driven the Red Rock Loop then you are really missing out. Once you have enjoyed that thrilling scenery than the next steps are to get out and do some hiking, work up to exploring, and finally add a peak or two. To me Red Rock is almost spiritual, that is how profound of an experience it is.

The landscape changes through out the hike, from the rugged, wild and harsh beauty of the Red Rock and it’s unforgiving terrain, to a place with brush, vegetation and even some Juniper and Pine trees.

La Madre Springs is a hike all in itself and most people on this trail only know about that. The spring adds vegetation and is what makes this part of Red Rock different and so interesting, a “treasured island in a sea of desert“. During the hike you will cross the stream a few times and there are places where there are even reeds, something that you don’t see everyday in a desert environment. There are wonderful vistas through out the adventure opening up to views of the surrounding hills and mountains. This really is a stupendous hike.

The trail starts out big broad double track road which gets rougher as you go, and finally switches to trail. It is well maintained and well traveled up to the La Madre Springs and then becomes a little more difficult to follow on the way up to a little water fall. Past the water fall your travels will take you through ever increasingly steep and overgrown trail that is not always easy to follow, but certainly worth the effort as you will get to checkout something very special, that being an Old Miner’s Cabin and if you seek further adventure than up the steep hill from there is an old abandon mine and even more wondrous vistas that the additional height avails to you.

The rustic ruins of the Old Miner’s Cabin will spur thoughts of a life of solitude, a simpler time, certainly back breaking work, but with the romance of possibility… the chance of gold and silver in them thar hills, and thus the opportunity for untold fortune and incredible wealth. An existence in this place would be filled with hardship of the elements- blistering, unrelenting heat in the Summer, and snow and ice during a portion of the winter. In fact the area got snow the night after my hike. As legend goes this cabin was used not only by prospectors, but cowboys and even outlaws.

There are a few different faint trails heading up above the cabin. I was able to find the abandon old mine, and there was a yellow flag marking the spot. It’s not that the flag is easy to see from any distance, but once you do then you know that you have discovered the opening to the mine. I suggest that you have a head lamp if you care to break the rules, that are clearly marked Do Not Enter, and explore this unsafe, dangerous place. If you do throw caution to the wind then you will work your way into a dark, dank mine. Most of the tunnel is wide open, but another portion you will need to get down on all fours and even drag yourself through a tight spot. The mine is not huge, but it is interesting. Take heed in the entire area surrounding the mine as I also discovered a vertical mine shaft that you certainly would not want to stumble into. To explore the vertical shaft you would need climbing gear and you certainly would not want to do that alone.

Old Miner’s Cabin
Entrance to Old Miner’s Cabin.
”Only by much searching and mining, are gold and diamonds obtained, and man can find every truth connected with his being, if he will dig deep into the mine of his soul.” – James Allen

Exercise, fresh air, expansive vistas, changing landscape, beauty and intrigue, an old cabin, a small waterfall, a spring forming a little oasis in the desert, a spooky old mine what better way to be “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure“? Thanks for coming along. Be sure to LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW, and SHARE. Checkout the menu above for the many different areas that PBTA ventures to. Each website is not only a separate area in the West, but a individual site and thus each needs to be Followed independently. You will also want to review the fine PBTA adventure wear, which is a great way to help support these sites at SHOP APPAREL.

Peak Bagging Arrow Canyon

Near Las Vegas, lonely inhospitable mountain peak out in the middle of the frick’n desert…

Activity: Peak Bagging, Trail Blazing,

Date: November 13, 2019

Distance: 6.5 miles, altitude: 5,226 feet, Prominence: 2,426 feet, 7 hour duration, rated Difficult

“If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not worth it.” – Keith Christensen, Mountaineer. Arrow Canyon Range High Point is for Peak Baggers, its hard, its suppose to be, thats the point.

In Las Vegas I met up with a friend Keith Christensen. He is a multi-titlest North American Hobie 16 Champion and Alter Cup Champion.  Most of my life I have been racing sailboats mostly small fast catamarans, Hobie Cats, but also Nacras, A-Cats, and Prindles. I have also done some big boat racing. I have numerous sailing championships two of which are National Titles, and I love sailing!  Keith and I have known each other via sailing for a long time.

Keith and I teamed up for my last Sailing World Championship, now its been like 7 years ago.  He came in as an alternate at the last minute when another friend had to drop out just prior to the event start, due to an previously unknown heart ailment.  Keith had not been sailing in years, as his passion had turned to Peak Bagging, and despite just jumping on the boat we still made the event finals.  He races dirt bikes, and 10 Speeds, still… Keith is a little younger than I am, and is quite passionate about the things that he does even though he has a very California kick back attitude. Among these many facets, Keith Christensen is also a mountaineer, and is a self proclaimed Peak Bagger.

What is a Peak Bagger you might ask? Well, I suppose that is a climber an outdoorsman who is out for a challenge, exercise, to be active, maybe to be in the Wilderness, to take in nature and the scenery, the sport of it all, could be to test his or her metal. I would ponder that it is all or at least a combination of many of those things and more, but according to Peakbagger.com, “He climbs a peak to get to the summit, because it is there, because it needs to be climbed.“ The “Because it is there” expression was coined from a quote by the famous Mount Everest Explorer George Mallory while speaking to a New York Times reporter in 1923.

I was soon to discover just what a Peak Bagger Keith Christensen is.  I knew he climbed peaks and when he sent me his resume ahead of time, I fully expected to see like 15 peaks or something, which would have been impressive, but no… Hundreds!  So, I was quite apprehensive about trying to bag peaks with him.  I am an adventurer, but going more for the nature aspect of it and the scenery, although I will say the harder it is, the more I respect it, and the more that it means.  I am intrigued by peaks, but it is not my main thing.  

So, Keith drove from Long Beach, California to hike with me in Vegas.  We did three peaks in three days.  Peaks he needed to add to his collection.  The first, Arrow Canyon Range High Point, was a lonely peak out in the desert about an hour or so from Las Vegas.  The last portion of our drive was on dirt roads for 30 minutes to finally arrive at the spot.  

This was not a fun hike, nor a scenic hike, well except for from the top there was a nice views in every direction of desert and far away mountains.  This was a hike that was trail blazing, meaning no trail.  Loose rock… three steps forward one step sliding back.  The going was tough, the rock was sharp, the brush had thorns, everything wanted to reach out and bite you.

I was fine going up. I stayed up with him, made the summit and there was a register.  Usually when I see registers they are multiple booklets and mostly full with no place left to sign, dozens and dozens of entries from just that month.  Well, this place had 2/year, and they were all people Keith knew, Peak Baggers.  You don’t come to this place unless you are a Peak Bagger. It is pretty much a “Because it is there” type of accomplishment. The way down I found more difficult.  Even the large rocks that you stepped on adjusted with each step.  Keith was much quicker than I, as I concentrated painstakingly on each and every step.

Up we go… not the most difficult section, but representative of our hike.
From the Top
Summit
Lonely Peak somewhere out in the desert.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Keith and I want to thank you for joining us while we were Pursuing Balance Through Adventure – Las Vegas Area Hiking and Peak Bagging a lonely, desolate, desert peak in the middle of no where. Not for the faint of heart, and it wasn’t supposed to be, after all it’s an adventure and the best way to gain that balance in life so sought after. This is day one of a three day Peak Bagging Adventure with Mountaineer Keith Christensen don’t miss the next step, because one missed step could send you down a steep ravine in this business. Please COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. Also checkout SHOP APPAREL for adventure hats, shirts, beanies and more. The menu above will send you to more PBTA locations for your adventure pleasure. Each one is independent and thus needs to be Followed independently.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Ash Canyon to Calico Tanks trail Loop

Ash Canyon to Calico Tanks Trail Loop
Red Rock Canyon National Conservancy
Las Vegas Area

Activity: Rock Scrambling
Date: April 26, 2019
Distance: 5 Miles, 1,325 elevation change, duration 4 hours, rated moderate. (Unless you run into trouble then you can double or triple that)

Red Rock Canyon is one of my favorite places. It is so stunningly beautiful that to me it is almost spiritual. But, it is not to be taken lightly. It is a place that can be most inhospitable with extreme heat, and dangerous drops.

While I cannot see visiting Vegas without hiking Red Rock, I would not recommend this particular loop trail. Also, I am not sure I would call this hike moderate.

It is more of a scramble than a hike, which is part of the fun, but people need to know that upfront. Also during the scramble up Ash Canyon most of it is just moving through the area with little or no defined path. Once you get past the canyon it seems to be almost cross country again. Because of this I was using my GPS Hiking Map App heavily and it was chewing through my IPhone battery like crazy.

Once connected with the trail heading towards Calico Tanks, that trail was maintained and well traveled. The tanks were very cool.

Making my way past that spot was the issue. Once again no recognize trail, scrambling, and the GPS on my map app was sketchy as was the area. I could not find a safe way down and my cell phone battery was now dying. It left me in a bad situation, and I had to double back and since that was sketchy with no GPS, I had to abandon the route and just head for the Red Rock Scenic Loop which tripled the mileage making it an almost 11 hour trip.

What I would recommend is scrambling up Ash Canyon, going cross country to the Calico Tanks Trail, and from there coming back the same way, which of course is a much longer trip probably about 8 miles.

Be sure to click the link below taking you to the ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure Face Book Page where you will see some really outstanding pics of this adventure, if I do say so myself. Really a stunning area.

Ash Canyon to Calico Tanks Trail Loop ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ Face Book Page Post
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -J.R.R Tolkien

Thanks for taking this look back at one of my favorite places even if it did not end up exactly as I planned, which made it more of an adventure than I was planning, Red Rock is magnificent. If you liked this post then please COMMENT, FOLLOW, LIKE, and SHARE. Checkout the menu above for ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ is in many different locales, (all which need to be FOLLOWED individually), and you might find some other grand adventures. If you would like to support PBTA then why not checkout the SHOP APPAREL for top quality gear.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Fossil Ridge

NEAR RED ROCK

LINK FROM SISTER SITE

Fossil Ridge was a wonderful hike that I took over a year ago, but I wanted such a great hike to be listed here and the information to be accessible on ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ Las Vegas Area Hiking.

Please enjoy FOSSIL RIDGE

Life is better in hiking boots.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’