Beauty in the Desert

April 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Each spring I travel to the Las Vegas area to climb in the canyons in Red Rocks park. Most folks have never heard about the climbing and wilderness areas in Red Rocks just 30 minutes from the airport. The park hosts hundreds of long traditional routes in numerous canyons. Most routes have long approaches (1 hour) through the desert to gain the canyons entry. The photo below shows one of the finest canyons in the area Black Velvet. This is where the classic route Epinephrine is located. Along the approaches to the canyon climbs beauty abounds. It can be subtle but when you look around the cactus, spring flowers, lizards, century plants bring color and life to this arid place. This year was amazing, locals are saying it will be the best bloom in 20 years due to the wet winter and spring.

Black Velvet Canyon approach, the brown varnished wall on the left is about 1500 feet high.

Paintbrushes in full bloom light up the trail.
This is the century plant, sharp and tough.
Beaver Tail Cactus – keep the ropes away from this one, the spines have a way of getting into the hands.
There are numerous types of lizards around. We saw this one and the Chuckwalla taking in some warmth during the mid day.
On the last day this storm came in from the west. The morning was sunny and hot and when these clouds came through the temps dropped to 45. By morning there was a dusting of snow on the high peaks bringing more color and beauty to the desert.

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