Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Trail Report: Sandstone Mountain

Sandstone Mountain Arch
Drink lots of water
The big arch
This is the trail report about the area around sandstone mountain.  Sometimes there are nearby locations that have never been explored or are relatively undiscovered.  The Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, an area set aside to protect the special environment of the desert tortoise, has some wonderful hiking trails.  These don't really get a lot of traffic.  I decided to explore one area this spring: the hike around sandstone mountain.

Although this was not a very hot day, the exposure here to the sun shine is extreme and I would never recommend this in the summertime.  There is a trail that is very well-established going from the parking lot down to the Virgin River.  It goes through some sandstone fins and towers.  Then it leads to a very large arch that you can actually hike under.
Rough country

After it reaches the river, the trail basically disappears.  It turns to the east and is supposed to go next to the river but some flooding has basically washed the trail away.  However it's easy to go cross country and find your way back to sandstone mountain.

Back in sandstone mountain, we hiked around the east side to reach the North face.  Initially we did not follow a trail but eventually came across a path that led through this rugged country.

It was in the midst of this hiking that I discovered a most beautiful arch.  It is very small, easy to pass but it has so many stripes on the wall and within the arch itself that it caught my eye.  I dropped everything that I was doing and started taking pictures of this little beauty.

After satisfying myself with a lot of photographs, we continued to hike north until we found another trail that arched around the north side of sandstone mountain and then returned us to the parking lot on the west.

This is a wonderful trail, an easy way to spend a half-day in southern Utah!
More pictures below:
at the Virgin River
Towers
Hiker
On west side of Sandstone Mountain
Mountain Detail
Sandstone Mountain

Hikers
From a distance as we were leaving
 
 


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