May 11, 2016
Waking up to an absolutely gorgeous day set the mood for an outdoor adventure. The desert was calling and we answered by choosing the Amphitheater Loop Hike.
The trail head and parking for this quiet 3 mile hike is at Hittle Bottom Campground about 22 miles east on Hwy 128.
The trail actually begins across the street.
The loop is an excursion into the heart of Richardson Amphitheater. The trail follows a wash with interesting rock formations before ascending a steep, rocky gully to the top of the ridge.
We were first greeted by Evening-primrose also enjoying the warm sunshine before the heat of the day. Since they depend on moths for pollination, they usually wither during the day.
The trail is narrow and easy to follow with the help of cairns. The first section follows formations in the Moenkopi sandstone layers dating back 225.5 million years.
Joe has a good eye for spotting things like the ladybug on the Harriman's Yucca.
I couldn't find the name of this beauty. Do you know it? Don't you love it when your pictures have surprises like a beetle tucked away in the bloom below?
These purple blooms are from the Showy Four O'Clock plant which enjoy the shade in juniper and piñon pine communities. These must have been a little confused because they usually bloom late in the day and it was mid morning when we spotted these.
And these pale lavender blooms called Utah Daisys appear early thoughout the southwest in April and May.
The desert was full of Scarlet Globemallow. They literally glowed in the sunlight.
Everything I see makes me photo happy !
Until next time...
HAPPY TRAILS !