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Bison at Antelope Island, Utah State Park 2017

Friday, January 11, 2013

Red Rock Canyon

The West has so many wonderful places to hike and beautiful sights to see.

On Tuesday we headed about 20 miles outside of Las Vegas to the Red Rock Canyon. 



You guessed it, it has some pretty neat red rocks!


There is a one way scenic drive with many easy pull outs and small parking lots.

In the visitor center I met a rather large lizard.


Good thing he was made of bronze.

I had read about the many trails in the park the night before, and picked out a promising six mile loop. It started out along one side of the mountain and we saw some petroglyphs on the walls.  There was a sign drawing our attention to them.  Without the sign we would have missed them.

In the same area the plants were more varied and vigorous than later on the loop.  How many types of plants can you see in this photo?



Then we hiked across a desert area.  Lots of cactus and shrubby plants. 

As we made our way into the canyon there were some areas where we had to scramble over rocks.  I love the roughness of these areas, but wish there were just a few more small, unobtrusive trail markers.  There was no way to get lost because we were in a canyon, but we did lose the trail a couple of time.


We felt we had to hustle along on the last section of trail because the sun was starting to sink behind the mountains, and it was getting colder. There was a thin layer of snow in some of the shaded places. 



This was just one of many unique rock walls. This section of trail was easy to walk.

Just before we got back to the parking area the trail became an unmaintained road that was restricted to high clearance vehicles.  We saw couple of Jeeps along it.  At one point there was a vehicle parked and we could see the occupants were looking at something on the side of the mountain.  

We looked too. 

Can you see anything? Look carefully.



At first we couldn't see anything, but then Craig spotted a bighorn sheep.



As we watched six more appeared.  They were at least a quarter mile away and stood very still.



It was exciting to see them in the wild. 
I feel lucky.

11 comments:

  1. What fun...that was like "Seek and Find." I looked and looked, went to the 2nd photo, then back to the 1st and there they were. What a great find!

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  2. I did the same thing because I couldn't find them in the first photo the first time, even after I made it bigger. I'm glad you had the other two photos or I would have gone crazy trying to find them.

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  3. Gosh, you're looking great! All that hiking is so good, too.

    Love the photos of the sheep, I haven't seen any yet. Thanks for the second and third shots, I'd never have found them on the first one.

    I think when you're out in nature for a while, your eyes start noticing things you completely miss before. :)

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  4. How fun to see those sheep! I too could only see them after looking at the second photo. Glad you're having a good time.

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  5. Wow - regarding the sheep. They are hard to spot. I spent 3 months in the Rockies a few years ago and, when hiking, saw their scat all around me but never saw them. Way cool!

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  6. That is so neat when you can get shots of big horns like that. Sure enjoyed seeing all of your other photos, too. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy.

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  7. We love moments like those and never get tired of seeing them. Beautiful photos of that area of the country!

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  8. We loved seeing Red Rock Canyon, but we didn't see any bighorn sheep when we were there, or any tortoises crossing the road, despite all the warning signs!

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  9. How cool that you got to see the bighorn sheep. What a beautiful place.

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  10. I agree that you were lucky to see the sheep. We have hiked in several areas with signs stating there are big horn sheep and have looked and looked and looked, but have never seen them in the wild. Now when we see a sign we just laugh. You never know, some day maybe we'll get lucky and see them too! Great hike and great pictures!

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  11. That was some good eyesight you had there. Those sheep almost look like statues. Are you sure they weren't made of bronze?

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