Red Rock Canyon – Part One

Th one thing I truly wanted to experience while we were in Vegas was the opportunity to go to Red Rock Canyon and view the petroglyphs and pictographs. If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, then you know my fascination with the American Indian culture. Later I found out that there are simple hikes that will allow you to view them.  Anyway, I left it up to Dirt Man to find us a trail. Somehow, (Dirt Man?) we wound up in a tour group of twelve people with a trail guide named George, who was an awesome guide by the way except that he really found scuttling down canyon slopes (cliffs) lots of fun! This was a great group of people. This hike according to George was not only strenouos but advanced due to the dangerous aspect of it.  Of course, I did not know this untilafter I had climbed boulders and we had to scrambled down the first canyon slot. Seriously, I would never have done it, NOT IN A MILLION YEARS, had I not been in a tour group with an experienced guide. I would have taken one look, shaken my head, and asked Dirt Man if he was crazy! You will not elieve some of these places we went through. Of course, those are the ones I don’t have pictures of because who can take pictures while they are hanging on for dear life?! I also did not get as many pictures as I would have liked. Most of these people were on the hike for the sure thrill of it and not for pictures. Each time I stopped to take a picture, I had to scramble to catch up.

The gray mountain in the center of the picture is Turtle Mountain. We started at the base (I think) of Sandstone Quarry and worked our way up the back side of Turtle Mountain to see the panel of petroglyphs and pictographs. Many hikes start at this base, but then you leave the trail to go where we went. You either have to know the area well or be with a guide. We were fortunate to have gotten in on this tour. It is one that is only allowed a few times a year. According to our guide, another set of petroglyph panels were damaged by someone painting over them. I can’t imagine why someone would do something like that! Anyway, in an effort to protect this area, they only allow a few guided tours in, and it happened to fall on the day we had planned to be there. We also had to make reservations well in advance to get in on this.

This is a typical canyon slot with a trail running through it.

This is an easy level climbing area of a typical canyon slot. They get much more difficult. I found that once I started climbing I had to pack my trekking poles because they became an hindrance. I am thankful Dirt Man thought to buy me a pair of gloves. They saved my hands.

These are typical areas of rock that we had to climb up, over, and around.

I want to go back to the peopl on this tour for just a minute. The gentleman in this picture is Chengiz (prounced Chain-geese). He is a retired Internal surgion from Iran. The amazing thing is that he is eighty-one years old and put the rest of us to shame! The tour guide had to keep calling him back as he zipped ahead of the group, and he had to warn him not to take us in the more dangerous areas. Apparently Chengiz wa familiar with the canyon. If we slowed down, he come back and want to know what was taking us so long!

The geological formations and colors of strata are amazing in brilliant color and how they formed. The sandstone is basically petrified sand dunes.  We were able to pinpoint fault lines. There were some rocks called concretions/iron marbles. These are deposits of iron oxide in the sandstone and as the weather erodes the rock these fall off. They are aboput the size of a black walnut and all just lying around as pebbles and stones do. On would think they are some type of fossil or petrified egg.

Changiz told us that it was good to huff and puff a bit everyday. I must say that I have never huffed and puffed so much in my life. The other hikers probably thought I was the big bad wolf! No, I didn’t blow the mountain down, but it didn’t conquer me either. I must admit there were a few times, I lifted a prayer or two. There were times Dirt Man had to give me a push or a pull. All in all the group worked together and helped one another. I have to thank Tony for always having my back. He always took the rear of the group, and he was right behind me when I slipped on loose rock once. At I slipped my leg went under a large rock which forced me on my rear. Tony taold Dirt Man that I couldn’t help it because he had felt the earth move which caused the rocks to stir. I told him that the earth moved when my butt hit the ground!

Part Two covers pictures of the petroglyphs and pictographs……

19 thoughts on “Red Rock Canyon – Part One

  1. Awesome. I am impressed at climbing in such high altitudes. The angles of the mountains you capture are especially gorgeous. I love the wisdom of huffing and puffing.

    • I am glad it is in a remote area because things like this should be protected forever. I am feel grateful to have been allowed the opportunity of viewing such majestic and sacred history.

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