Originally today our group had planned on hiking Bridge Point. Unfortunately though the weather forecast for the Las Vegas area was forecasting 1-3 inches of snow. It would be even more up in Red Rock Canyon being higher elevation there. Hiking on the sandstone with ice possible was not something we wanted to do. We thus changed our plans to hike in up to where we would have started to go up the ridge and enjoy a waterfall. It ended up that it didn’t snow any in Vegas or at all in Red Rock though.
We drove out to Red Rock Canyon and parked at the Pine Creek Trailhead. We started hiking about 8:30AM. It was sunny and about 25ºF. Great views as we started of Rainbow Mountain, Bridge Point, and Mescalito. The Moon was setting over Rainbow Mountain as well.
We started hiking towards Mescalito. Once we got to the base of Mescalito we followed Pine Creek along the North side of Mescalito into Fern Canyon. It was about 1.5 miles or so to here. We continued on scrambling around the rocks. There were lots of ponds along the creek that were frozen. We slid rocks onto the ponds and waited to see the ice crack up and the rocks to fall through. We got it down to a science. I got some videos of this as well as some photos. We later found a small cave where a frozen waterfall and many huge ice crystals existed.
We continued on through Fern Canyon eventually reaching a frozen waterfall. Some of us scrambled up above the waterfall and we saw a frozen field of ice just above the waterfall. This is where we took our break taking lots of photos. Great views of the Sandstone Bluffs were at the rear of the canyon.
After enjoying the ice field we descended to the frozen waterfall and took some pictures. It was just after 11AM and one of the hikers in our group had to return to town for a 2PM appointment. We then started to head back. Along the way we played around on some frozen ponds along the creek and got some good videos the ice breaking after we slid more rocks onto the ice like we did on our way to the waterfall. We stopped by the cave where the ice crystals were and I took a big ice cycle which one of the hikers in the group referred to it as my torch. I took the torch all the way back to the vehicle.
We then continued back to the trailhead. Once we got out of the canyon the sun was shining fiercely but it was only in the low 30s. We saw several people hiking by here and there. One lady passed by and commented on the “pop-cycle” I had found. We arrived at the trailhead at about 12:30PM. I then said goodbye to the ice cycle.
This was one of the most fun hikes I had ever been on. The scrambling opportunities throughout Red Rock canyon are amazing. Who knew before I moved to Las Vegas that there were places like this to enjoy out in the desert!
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