An Article from Aaron's Article ArchiveA Pleasant Evening Hike
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A Pleasant Evening Hike
Thursday, 11 March 2010 7:35 PM MST
Yakkity Yak, Astounding Adventures
Kendall stopped by and grabbed me from work this afternoon before the sun went down so we could get out in the beautiful weather and light and go hiking. We wanted some place close by, so we chose the Chuckwalla, Turtle Wall and Beacon Hill trails (the three form a loop) in the lower Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.
It was a beautiful late afternoon/early evening, the sun hitting the red cliffs at a lowering angle, the air crisp and cool. We parked at the Chuckwalla trailhead lot immediately off Utah State Route 18 just north of where it crosses Snow Canyon Parkway in St. George, and started down the trail, descending into the canyon past a cliff wall packed with people rock climbing. There was quite a crowd on the cliffs.
The trail was down hill for the first part, descending into the canyon carved by Halfway Wash. It was nice, as it got me limbered up, warming me up for the rest of the hike. The Chuckwalla trail descends to the Halfway Wash floodplain, then follows it northward.
After a while following the wash north, at a trail intersection, we turned westward, crossed Halfway Wash, and immediately started up the hillside, and were soon walking on slick rock, weaving along the base of the cliffs on the Turtle Wall Trail.
I've got to say, the Turtle Wall Trail in the evening light is stunning!
Just a hair past the two mile mark, we reached a look-out point overlooking the Entrada golf course, green fairways nestled in black basalt ancient lava beds far below us.
After a pause at the overlook, we headed northward, until we intersected the Beacon Hill Trail, where we turned eastward and churned through the sand, then descended back into Halfway Wash. As we descended again, the sun hit the sheer red rock cliff face in front of us on the western side of Halfway Wash, below State Route 18 (but you can't see it from the road). What a beautiful sight!
Once at the bottom of the wash again, we followed the trail southward, back to our point of origin. It was a hike made-in-the-shade (literally, as the sun was so low that by this time the canyon bottom was in shade).
The hike ascending back up the eastern side of the wash to the parking lot was the perfect end to the hike, even though by now my fingers were a bit chilly and I was ready to get in the vehicle and warm up a bit.
Thanks, Kendall, for stealing me away to get some exercise outside!
Comment by 'Yer Mom' posted on Sat. 13 Mar. 2010 at 12:36 PM MST (-0700)
Subject: Hiking in general...
Could an old woman like me make the hike? I WANT to go. Who will steal me away from work?