January 14th , 2017 ~ Day 295
Snow capped mountains off in the distance, beautiful red rocks surrounding us, what an amazing place to go for a hike!
The Guardian Angel Trail starts at the Red Spring picnic area in Calico Basin in the Red Rock National Conservation Area. A place I’ve been to once before on a a Meetup. When I found out we were heading to Vegas for the day, I knew exactly where I wanted to hike.
My plan was to do the same hike I had done three years ago with a Vegas Meetup, of which I am still apart of. The Grand Staircase was the name of the hike. A good climb up the rock face just in front of the Red Spring picnic area, which leads you across the top of the mountain and around the other side. A nice loop with beautiful views!
Asking a few people for directions, as it had been three years and I wasn’t sure where to start, no one knew what I was talking about. So we set out on one of the few trails, which seemed familiar to me. Immediately after we began there was a trail to our left, now blocked off, could have been the trail I had taken before. Since we couldn’t enter, we continued hiking on the trail we began on. I had a feeling we were leaving the Grand Staircase behind. So instead of doing the intended hike, we set out to explore and enjoy the many different colors this place has to offer.
Coming around a corner we came across some spotted rock. Another amazing thing I have never seen before. To think now, had we found our intended trail, we would have missed these amazing rocks. The trail cut across the rock and as we walked on it, we noticed not only the rust color, but some of the spots were raised. Which I thought was strange. I’m not familiar with geology, so I couldn’t explain any of this. To me it’s the beauty and wonder of it all that keeps me in awe.
We continued on, hiking the base of the mountain. I really wanted to see the other side, for if my memory serves me, this was where the real beauty of this place lies. The mountains and the dirt became red yet again. Taking my breath away by the sheer beauty of it all.
Realizing there was a saddle above us, and that we could possibly see the other side of this mountain, we began our climb up the red sandstone.
As we climbed up to the saddle, turning around to see the views of the valley below… Gorgeous! Everything about this place is amazing!
We can do it! The climb wasn’t as difficult as it looked, it just seemed to be extremely tall. Trying to find a trail and climbing up and over huge rocks were our biggest challenge. There were rock climbers, with ropes to our left, climbing the rock face. Eric and I both agreed, we had a much easier path, and keeping our feet on the ground would be much more enjoyable.
We made it to the top of the saddle, only a mile from the trailhead. It took us almost an hour to get here. Slow and steady! We took a break and had a snack while enjoying the views below.
The incredible views were definitly worth the climb! So many different terrains to see. From this photo you can see five different colors of terrain. Unless you count the white snow on top of the mountain, it would be six. So spectacular!!!
Climbing back down, snapping a photo before I climbed under a huge rock.
I couldn’t stop taking photos of the magnificent landscape. Who knows when I’ll be back here again. It’s been three years since the last time, but now that I’m becoming more familiar, there’s so much more I want to explore!
We found a stream on our way back to the trailhead. With the recent rains, it had quite a bit of water.
A final photo from the trailhead, just before we were leaving, to see even more of the amazing colors this place has to offer. Today was another one of those days where things didn’t go as planned, but instead I found something new to explore and possibly a little more beautiful! It was a great day for a hike! TYG!
Join me on my journey of hiking everyday for 365 days, to see all that I can see! Never miss out on a post and “like” me on Facebook and for more photos follow me on Instagram!