Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Tale of Two Trails

On Saturday (2-13), I hiked to both the waterfall in Ice Box Canyon and deep into Fern Canyon, which is the north fork of Pine Creek Canyon. Both had great waterfalls, but they differed in significant ways. Ice Box Canyon is listed as an official trail by Red Rock Canyon, one of only 19 trails. The trail spiderweb in parts as I witnessed several hikers going on spur paths because the trail was not signed properly.

After almost a mile the trail drops into the wash. From here things got worse. Admittedly, at times the water made it impossible to stay in the middle of the wash. The spur trails around the pools of water were very brushy. Red Rock and the BLM can't clean the trails, but they can spend 23 million on a new visitor center.

Eventually we made it to the main waterfall, which was flowing big time as you can see in the photo. With some friction moves you can make it to the base of the waterfall. They don't call it Icebox for nothing. It was cold by the waterfall. See the video below.

I then drove to Pine Cre
ek parking area and by some miracle actually got a parking spot. The trailhead parking is woefully inadequate. I hiked the trail and veered north at the divide. The trail into Fern Canyon spiderwebs so it's hard to know which trail to follow. The uppermost trail travels furthest into the canyon and ends at the classic rock climb, Dark Shadows. Fern Canyon gets its name from the numerous ferns in the canyon.

This non-official route through the canyon was in excellent shape. Someone had clean the canyon and cairned it. This makes it easy for anyone to hike through the canyon following the same route. No getting cut up from brush and no spider webbing paths. Why can't the BLM understand this? A child of five could comprehend this.

The main waterfall in the middle of the canyon was also flowing at a great rate. This was the most water I had ever seen in Fern Canyon. All waterfalls in Red Rock will be flowing this upcoming week.