Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lake Mead Trail Run

 I had to go to Lake Mead for a couple days of meetings and decided to stay at the cheapest hotel in the area, the Hacienda. It is part of a casino, which isn't too appealing to me, but it is also in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and there's a trail right next to it. So when I woke up, I headed down to the trail for an early morning trail run. The trail follows an old railroad bed, so it's perfect for not too difficult a run.

 It has nice views of the marina and Lake Mead.

 I also really enjoyed the different vegetation of the Mojave Desert. These creosote bushes are always so lovely!

 This trail includes some train tunnels, making it extra fun. I remembered three from a previous jaunt, but it turned out that there were five (I guess I didn't go far enough before!).

 Signs and benches have been added since my last trip (several years ago), and they are nice additions.
Previously I had seen other people on the trail, but this time I had it to myself. It's a combo bike/hike trail.

The tunnels have been stabilized in a restoration project. I heard bats in the first one and saw birds fly out of a couple of them.

The rock around there is so different from where I live. I really enjoyed all the shades of brown and tan with hints of orange. One of the signs talked about the families that lived nearby during the construction of the Hoover Dam and how miserable it was for them due to a lack of shade.

Pretty flowers--but I don't know what they were!

After the last tunnel I passed through a gate that was marked as Bureau of Reclamation land. The trail went around some buildings and then headed downhill towards the dam. I had reached my turn around time, but I was so curious about what was next that I decided to go just a little farther.

That's when I saw some desert bighorn sheep! They were enjoying the quiet morning until I spooked them, then they crossed the trail in front of me and went up into the rocks on the other side.

I continued a bit farther, hoping to catch a glimpse of the dam. I saw lots of power lines and even part of the new bridge (on the upper right part of the above photo). The trail was descending quickly and I really had to get back to go to work, so I will have to go back another day to take the trail all the way to the dam.

The run back went quickly, although I couldn't resist stopping a couple times to take more photos.

The temperature was in the high 60s/low 70s, so really comfortable.

Finally I reached the spur trail that had led down to the main trail. At the top I went through a different spot into the Hacienda parking lot and found a sign denoting this as a trail and distances (3 1/4 miles to the dam).

I had managed to forget my running shoes, so these are the shoes I did my run in. They worked out well!


jendoop said...

Thanks for sharing your run!

Anonymous said...

Whew! I'm exhausted.


Survivalsense said...

Fun run!

jhami said...

Wow - and you even did that in Mary Jane shoes! You go girl!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

blogger templates