45°F
weather icon Clear

Fiery red sandstone highlights park’s Bowl

Bowl of Fire within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is very similar to the fiery red sandstone formations in Valley of Fire State Park, with occasional outcroppings of yellow, pink and orange, but it is more remote and offers much more solitude.

In the time of the dinosaurs this landscape consisted of sand, which through time turned to stone. Uplifting, faulting, erosion, wind and weather shaped the formations into those you see now.

From the parking pullout, head northwest on the faint trail a few hundred yards toward the end (or right) of the prominent limestone ridge. Follow the path around to the other side and you will be able to see the Bowl of Fire outcropping, which looks quite dramatic next to the surrounding gray limestone hills and mountains.

You might have to do some route finding here and there, but take the time to stay on the path so you don’t trample the fragile cryptobiotic soil. Keep on the route toward the outcropping. You will enter small washes here and there and then cross Calville Wash, one of the main drainages of this area. Continue northwest and then drop down into another obvious wash and head right, upstream. Follow it for about a hundred yards or so until all easy progress is blocked, then scramble up the bank, and you have arrived in Bowl of Fire.

The hike is 2.2 miles round trip to the outcropping, but it offers plenty of options to explore farther.

Wear long pants of sturdy fabric for rock scrambling and hiking shoes or boots with good tread.

The elevation is 1,933 feet at the trailhead, nearly as high as Las Vegas, so dress for similar temperatures. Be sure to wear a hat for a hike because there is almost no shade. Also remember to bring water and food.

If you don’t get around to this hike until spring, the beavertail cactus will brighten your path with blooms, often the color of raspberry sherbet.

Note: Even with the government shutdown, hikers will be able to access the trailhead.

Many of Deborah Wall’s columns have been compiled into books about hiking in the Southwest. She is also the author of “Great Hikes, a Cerca Country Guide” and a co-author of the book “Access For All, Seeing the Southwest With Limited Mobility.” Wall can be reached at Deborabus@aol.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Eagles open season with win

Boulder City High School boys basketball team won its league opener against SLAM Academy 73-67 on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Lady Eagles shut out opponents

Advancing to 3-0 on the season, Boulder City High School flag football team is off to a hot start, behind a dynamic offensive attack and stout defense.

Roundup: Tourney helps girls build for future

After finishing 2-1 in the Lake Mead Holiday Classic, Boulder City High School girls basketball head coach Lisa Foster said she is happy with her team’s play.

City Recreation, Dec. 12

Brew Pub team wins coed softball tournament

Coach sees team’s potential

Boulder City High School’s boys basketball team lost to 4A teams Basic 69-58 on Monday, Dec. 2, and Green Valley 46-41 on Tuesday, Dec. 3, but have silver linings to fall back on.

Big win, loss offer valuable lesson

Splitting a pair of games against 4A opponents to start the season, Boulder City High School girls basketball team will rely on team play as it moves forward.

Roundup: Lady Eagles dominate Western on gridiron

Boulder City High School’s flag football team opened the season with a win, dominating Western 28-6 on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Natural mosaics adorn canyon

Mosaic Canyon in Death Valley National Park, California, is a great hiking choice for all ages and abilities depending on how far you venture. This is a good choice if you have children along or people in your group that can’t travel very far because in this canyon just hiking one quarter of a mile you’ll experience the beauty of the place and be able to admire the natural mosaics.

Expectations high for Eagles

Expectations remain the same for Boulder City High School boys basketball team, even as its starts the season with a new roster.

Howard, Alexander to lead Lady Eagles

Coming off its first 3A state tournament appearance since 2014, Boulder City High School girls basketball team is looking to make a return trip.