On Tuesday, December 28, Howard Booth took me on a hike to a place he has named Owl Canyon. It is off the Lakeshore Rd in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, on the north end of the River Mountains. We parked at one of the lake views just before Vegas Wash, dropped down and across one wash, and took the next one north. It gradually narrows up into a conglomerate slot canyon, heading west into the River Mountains. It passes through culverts deep beneath the new highway and then the old highway, and then gradually opens out again into a broad wash heading into the mountains. We walked to a point just past a major cliff, at which point the wash opens out again. It is surprising how far the wash goes into the mountains. We walked about 4 miles and we did not reach the crest.
The wash bottom in the narrows has been quite scoured by the recent rains, and all along the length of the wash there are signs of erosion and deposition.
There are some flowers out already: rayless encelia (?), encelia (?), Indian tobacco, ground cherry, and burro brush (just one). I’m rusty on my flowers, so take these IDs with a grain of salt. The wash bottom is quite green with grass and herbs, so it would seem to suggest a good to great flower year.
It is always a pleasure to be out with Howard, talking about old times and flowers and geology and politics. Our previous hike was in April, on the other side of the River Mountains near Boulder City.