Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mt. Wilson in Arizona

On Friday, Dana and I hiked through Horse Thief Canyon to Mt. Wilson. It was a lousy route. Between fighting brush and very loose terrain, we were both disappointed with the route. From the summit, which has great views of Lake Mead, Las Vegas, and Red Rock Canyon we saw a possible descent route.

The descent route followed the ridge for about three quarters of a mile. There's a hiker's path which made for fast travel. We dropped off the ridge to the north hiking down fairly stable terrain. We then had a choice to hike over the next small ridge and drop into Horse Thief Canyon or follow a drainage back to the canyon.

I was leery of the drainage due to possible brush and drop offs that might not have work arounds. We did not leave the summit until 1:30 and I did not want to descend in the dark. Dana convinced me to try the drainage and I am glad. It was a great route! No brush, fun down climbs, and no loose rock. In fact it was such a good route, I will forget writing up the route through Horse Thief Canyon and instead write this route up. Look for it in the beginning of December.

This was only the second time I hiked Mt. Wilson. The first time, about 10 years ago, was miserable. It was cold and windy, not a good combination for a ridge route. I like others hikers found the ridge route boring. The route through Horse Thief Canyon is terrible, but this new route is good and makes hiking to Mt. Wilson worthwhile.

Notes: There's a new sign-in book with plenty of blank pages. The road in is only high clearance, but would be very tough to drive after a rain.