Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lovell Wash Narrows, Lake Mead, NV - February, 2012

Some of you may know that both of my siblings live in Las Vegas along with a close friend from middle school and her husband and 8-year old daughter. It's great having all of them within a 4-5 hour drive or 1 hour plane ride so I usually visit about twice a year and they come see me at least once.

Well, my sister is newly engaged and was about to move up to Washington state to live with her fiance and I hadn't seen my friend or her daughter in over a year either so I grabbed a cheap, quick flight to visit them for the weekend.

The first day I was there, sis and I headed out to Lake Mead National Recreation Area for a hike. I like the Lake Mead area better than Red Rock Canyon. There's something about the blue lake and sky against the red and orange landscape that makes me feel like I'm on another planet.

We decided to hike to the Lovell Narrows (AKA Anniversary Narrows). I'd discovered this hike through a quick Google search of hiking in Lake Mead which led me to birdandhike.com. Check out the great trail description here.

Here's a map of where we ended up. On the map of Lake Mead NRA it's along Northshore Dr. a few miles past Callville Bay at mile marker 16.


View Larger Map

According to Jim Boone from birdandhike.com "This land was laid down as sheets of mud in the bottom of some vast playa lake where ancient animals once roamed." The "ancient animals" pulled me in and then the photos of the narrows sealed the deal. Although 5 miles in the full sun seemed a bit long for a sisters day out I needed to see these narrows! I'd never been to any narrows before and I was psyched!




Jim's trail description was spot on and it was nice to know we weren't walking into the unknown desert blindly. Still, it was quite a long walk. Luckily, the temperature was perfect that day and the walk was on pretty flat ground. We didn't see a soul for about an hour into the hike (!!) and at points I was thinking we should turn back. What looks close in the desert can be VERY far away.



But, we pushed on at a leisurely pace and once we got to the tailings pile from one of the old mines (above) we saw the trail descend into the wash and I knew we'd be there soon (or I at least hoped we would!).

Walking in the wash was a bit more difficult than the old mine road (mostly gravel) but it was cool to be in this little canyon with colorful rock on both sides. We saw evidence of old mines, but stayed far away from the openings. They are pretty unsafe.



Pretty soon, we saw the entrance to the narrows ahead and I had a hard time not running to them! They were so worth the walk. Narrows are amazing! And to think they were carved out by water.




We sat for a bit and ate some snacks and then walked a little upstream through the narrows, but we knew it was quite a ways back to the car so we soon headed back.




If I visit the narrows again I'm going to try to find someone with a 4WD vehicle which allows you to drive 1.5 miles into the hike and park about a half mile from the narrows. I'd love to see what Jim mentions in the trail description:

"A few yards past the mine, there is a cleft in the south wall of the wash with an odd, tubular structure. When I first saw it, I thought that maybe it was a petrified log partially buried in the mudstone. There are plenty of petrified logs just over the mountains in Valley of Fire, so one here would not be out of place. On more careful inspection, however, the structure looks more like a mud-filled and fossilized burrow of some giant beaver-like creature. Perhaps giant catfish lived here that dug burrows in mud riverbanks like some species do today." Cool!

I'd also love to see the Las Vegas Bearpoppy, which is an endemic flower in this region. Next time!

After the hike we had a quick bite at a cafe in Callville Bay and caught this beauty of a sunset.


Check out more of my photos from Lake Mead in my Flickr set.

2 comments:

  1. So you didn't have any problems with fences or signs telling you anything was closed? Considering this hike in a week or two.

    Todd, Washington State

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    Replies
    1. Todd, I didn't see any signs. Looks like it was reopened mid-January. Enjoy your hike! It's a pretty amazing place.

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