Saturday, December 31, 2011

Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, NV

While I was in Vegas, I made a trip out of the city to visit Red Rock canyon. It happened to be Veteran's Day weekend, which was one of the national parks free weekend, an added bonus.

I didn't have my climbing gear, so I couldn't take advantage of the climbing. But I did explore the red canyon a bit.

View from visitors center

The first stop we made was at Calico II

At the High Point Overlook of the drive, Las Vegas in the background

Also took a walk along Lost Creek trail to one of the waterfalls, but it was barely dripping. The hike details can be seen at the bottom of this post.

No falling water today

La Jolla Cove

The day after Christmas I made my way over to La Jolla Cove outside of San Diego, CA. It was pretty crowded and parking was a premium. I was lucky and found a spot right next to this little beach that was covered in seals.
 Looking down from where I parked
 View down on the beach with the sea cliffs in the distance

As we walked down towards the cove there was this single seal on this rock. It was still for a while and almost looked like a statue.
 There were plenty of pelicans, seals and some crazy people in and around the water. Some people had full wet suits, while others were in just bikinis. I did not get in the water on this trip. 58 degrees is a little cold for me, and I did not come prepared.

We turned around at "Sunny Jim" cave. It looks like an inviting cliff jump, enough so that they have a sign forbidding it. No Lele Kawa on this trip.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Biking near Yuma Dec 4th

Went out biking again. For the first time there were other people over there. As I pulled up there was a guy finishing up his day of riding. I guess I'm still the only idiot that rides in Yuma at one in the afternoon.

Since it was a nice cool day I rode a lot further than my last few rides. I did over 30 miles. I took the trail I road down last week up all the way to the top of the range, and just kept following the trails north. Then I headed down on a trail back to the canal. The canal road was the worst part of the ride, I should have just road the single track I rode up back the where I started. The canal road wasn't strait and just very boring and I was already getting tired. I should have stayed on the far side of the canal. It would have been a strait shot back to the parking area. Maybe next time.

The map below show most of the route. The app was having glitches in the beginning of the ride so the track doesn't show up right, from the parking lot to the first photo. I think some of the pictures from this ride are pretty good. No video this time.

Exploring the Valley of the Moon

No rock climbing here in Yuma, but looking online there were some suggestions to go to Valley of the Moon in CA. Of the three places around Yuma to climb all about 90 minutes drive away, this is the one that had the most info about it.

I picked up a rock climber I barely knew and loaded with my iPad with maps and info from we headed out. Missed the dirt road heading up there at first but after reviewing the map managed to find it. The first two miles aren't too bad if you have a high clearance SUV or truck. At the two mile point you hit a fork in the road. The road heading down to the valley is pretty bad. Two bad for my stock truck to handle.

After parking the truck we hiked in the cold about a mile to the first rock climbing area, tombstone. There were some other climbers there working the sport routes there. So we looked around for some other routes. There was a lot of choss, so it was hard to find any other routes to climb.

We tried a little bouldering, then found a nice little trad crack route. By the time we were done on that crack the sun was heading behind the mountains, so we called it a day, even though we hadn't got much climbing in. The trails and sights were pretty awesome, even if the climbing wasn't.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Yuma area Mountain Biking over thanksgiving

Back out to sugerloaf for some biking over the Thanksgiving weekend. Even for late November it was pretty warm in the afternoon. This time I worked my way up the way I came down last time, When I got to a crossroads I tried going a new more north. This didn't prove to be the best decision. It was a lot of steep and loose up hills, and the trails didn't link very well. After some pretty steep hiking my bike up I spotted a promising trail. The video of the top part of it is below. I hunk new time I will try and make my way up that trail and head north more, because I feel like there is still a lot in that direction.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Indian Pass road

I am a reckless asshole, was going to be the name of this post. I know this could be the title of a few of my post, but this one I felt it during my recklessness.

I failed to do the proper research on this one. This was another find on the CA BLM site. I looked on google maps and it was there. A "road" that runs from near the imperial dunes to the Colorado river. I assumed it would be a nice drive with some good view. The road started off fine, graded well marked.

Then you hit the Indian Pass. From there you head down into Gavilan Wash. Just heading from the top of the pass to the wash is a pretty bad road. From here on there are no marking until you reach Picacho rec area, a little ways from the Colorado River. There are also deer running down and cross the wash, as if just making your way down this "road" wasn't enough to worry about.

Deer running away in the wash

To enter the rec area you need to pay $5. This is where a picked up the brochure for Picacho, and realized the closest paved road was back the way I came. This was also the first time I saw any indication the "Indian Pass Road" wasn't a so much a road. The brochure says "2WD not recommended." I feel like that is pretty irresponsible. This is how you get reckless assholes like me driving down these "roads." I turned around and headed back. I made it with no problems and got some good photos, but I wasn't well prepared. Other than a few gallons of water I had nothing that I would consider as prepared. No map, extra fuel, food, cell service and nobody knew where I was going.

Telegraph Pass, Yuma, AZ

When I was diving to Antelope Hill, I saw a bunch of people hiking Telegraph Pass. I did a little online research and found it to be a pretty popular Yuma hike. What I didn't realize is how steep the road was.

I headed to the trailhead shortly after work on Friday. From what I read online, it should take a fit person about 2 hours round trip. So I thought I could make it before sundown, unfortunately this meant it was a bit over 100 degrees.

When I arrived there were only two cars at the parking area. I saw a few trails so I headed up the one that lead up the wash to the left. I failed to follow the turn to the right at first and lost the trail off to the left. I back tracked and found the main trail. After I got back on the established trail it was pretty easy to follow, to the gate for the road to the top. At the gate I passed two guys on there way down, and saw a guy not too far ahead of me.

It took a while to realize how steep this paved road got after the gate, it doesn't happen right away. The road starts off following a wash that isn't very steep, then it hits an S curve. From there on it is steeper than I expected. Even with a few stops for photos, I caught the guy ahead of me by the time I reached the top.

The view from the top was pretty good. I couldn't get a good photo of Yuma, because the sun was directly behind it. I put my name in the summit logbook, got a few pictures and then headed back.

West -Yuma
East -Antelope hill and Wellington
Once I got back to the bottom and off the road and onto the trail, I started to see a lot more people hiking. It seems I was about an hour or so ahead of the crowds.

My iPhone finally cooperated, and produced this map for me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

MTB at sugarloaf near Yuma, AZ

When I found out I was coming to Yuma a few months ago, I started looking for things to do right away. On the web site MTBR I found Sugarloaf peak.

As always there was a delay between my arrival and when my stuff arrived. So I headed over there a few weeks ago to explore the area by 4WD truck. It looked pretty promising, lots of elevation change and some established single track as well as "Jeep trails."

My stuff arrived this last week, and one of the first things I did was put my bike together. It just so happened to be an unseasonalby cool week for the desert, staying under 90 most of the week. I took the bike out on a bike trail along the Colorado River for a shake down. I'm glad I did, because I had a slow leak in my front tire.

The weekend arrived and my planned early morning start turned into an after lunch start, but I made it out there. Maybe it was because it was mid afternoon in the desert, but I was the only one out there. I headed north along the canal until the first wash. There I turned up hill along the Jeep trail. About a mile and a half, heading up hill, on loose rock and I intersected one of the single track trails. I followed this up a little further, but when it seemed to start going down, away from the parking area, I turned around. The video below is from that turn around back the my car. Just over a mile of down hill single track.

I think this was a pretty good first trip out. Next time I will go earlier, and press on further. Being alone and since it was my first time I think 3 miles was about right.

Here is the downhill video from my second trip and the map below.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Az to Salton Sea, CA

Like many people I was tipped off to the Salton Sea by the youtube video "The Accidental Sea".

So my first week down here in Western Arizona I decided I had to check it out.

I'm a little disappointed that my experience wasn't as post apocalyptic as Accidental Sea portrays.

I circled the whole sea and didn't see much that was real crazy. I managed to get a few good photos, but because I was alone I got bored pretty quickly. I ventured off the main road a few times, towards the sea, but I didn't head the other way. I missed out on Salvation Mountain and a few of the other cooler things in that area. Maybe in a few months when it isn't crazy hot out I will head back over there and really explore.

I did stop off at Ocotillo Wells on the way and Imperial dunes. I cruised down Oil Well Wash at Ocotillo wells a little bit.

Oil Well Wash, Ocotillo Wells

Imperial Dunes