May 24, 2016
Almost three years ago Joe and I hiked the Great Pyramid Loop (part of the 16.7 mile Intrepid Bike Trail) in Dead Horse Point State Park. I am not sure why we let so many years go by without visiting this beautiful state park again.
This past week, we took care of that and ventured out to do the West Rim-East Rim Loop.
This loop begins and ends at the Visitor Center. It can be anywhere from 4 to 8 miles depending on how many spur trails you want to do.
At the start of West Rim we were engulfed in greens, creamy yellows, piñon pines and junipers, and the most glorious fragrance from the Cliff Roses.
We had read in a brochure that the park only receives about 10 inches of precipitation a year and how vegetation has adapted to live. Plants have reduced the size of their leaves because smaller leaves loose less water through evaporation. I had not paid attention to how tiny the leaves are on the Cliff Rose are until the other day.
Some of these plants have already seeded. A mature seed has a long-tailed hair that attaches to it. These hairs act like a "tiny parachute" and aid the wind in dispersing the seeds. The fascinating part to this is that the hairs help "drill" the seeds into the ground. Once the seeds land in the soil, the wind blows the curved hair rotating it to push the seed into the soil...amazing!
The birds were busy all around us and their chatter filled the quiet morning air. Finding them was quite a challenge. We were on trail by 8:15. Of the two trials, West Rim is less used. It was just us and the birds.
According to DHPSP information, West Rim is the longest and most primitive hiking trail in the park. Cairns mark the route over the sandstone and slick rock.
We eventually followed the cliffs that form the western boundary of the park.
It's easy to visualize the layers described in the sign in the picture below. But not easy to comprehend 300 million years ago.
|The last scene in the movie Thelma and Louise was filmed here.
From the point, looking right...
...looking straight ahead and...
...and looking right.
A look back at the point as we continued on East Rim.
...passing under the huge boulder is fun...
...and it's just so dang beautiful!
At the end of the trail just before we turned onto Potash Road, we saw Jug Handle Arch.
Until next time, happy days and...