|Hike Name:||Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area - Ice Box Canyon|
|Trip Date:||March 28, 2007|
|Trail Traffic:||Light to Moderate|
|Trip Weather:||Sunny, Partly Sunny|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 61-70, Low: 41-50 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||It is a thirty minute drive from the Las Vegas strip to Red Rock Canyon, which is BLM land with a thirteen mile scenic loop. There are numerous trails off the main park road, so I stopped at the visitor's center for some guideance and to pick-up a map. Ice Box Canyon was recommended and the park brochure confirmed that waterfalls were often present during the months of January and March. The creek beds had dried up as it turned out, but the hike did prove to be interesting as it climbed gradually toward the canyon.
The first mile was moderate with a rocky but well worn trail ascending to the mouth of the canyon. Things got much tougher once the trail met the creekbed, however. There were numerous boulders and large rocks to navigate, and the trail was difficult to follow at times. I passed a number of hikers returning from the canyon and all assured me it was worth the trip. A seasonal waterfall can be seen at the end of this hike, and I passed an Asian couple as I closed in on the pools at its base. They wisely elected to turn around, but I continued based on the feedback I received from the previous hikers. This was a bad call as it turned out, with boulders that were much easier to climb than descend. The two pools at the base of the waterfall were intersting as they were trapped by the mammoth walls of the canyon, but I quickly realized that getting down from them was not going to be easy - and likely quite dangerous.
The trailhead sign warned that hikers had fallen in this area, and now I understood why. After carefully navigating via my butt, I was able to slide down past the first and second pools, but had a close call on the second one. Nonetheless, I was relieved to be done with it and slowly made my way through the boulder field and back to the trailhead. About 20 minutes from the trailhead, I noticed the Asian couple was lost in the canyon having missed a turn and following the creekbed too far. As they called for help, I shouted down the location of the trail, and they quickly committed to getting back up to the ridge. By 4:30pm I was back at the car and heading into rush hour traffic in Vegas. Spent the rest of the evening, chilling in the hotel room . I was too tired to do anything and ended up eating in the hotel and sacking out early.