Dani and I woke up bright and early after a restful night's stay at the Trump International Hotel and set out for a day-long hiking trip with Desert Adventures. Our tour guides picked us up from the hotel and drove 30 minutes outside of Las Vegas to their headquarters in Boulder City, a quaint town with a fascinating history, near Hoover Dam. Once at the shop, we picked up our pre-packed lunches from Southwest Dinner, signed waivers, and organized our gear.
The hike itself was a 7-mile long trek known as White Rock Canyon Trail, just below Lake Mead. With an elevation descent of 1,000 feet heading toward the Colorado River, we had quite the workout on the return leg. The trail offered stunning overlook views at various points, with especially great scenery once we reached the crystal-clear river.
About half way along the trail we enjoyed a special treat: the Arizona hot springs. There were three springs, each varying in size and temperature. The springs consist of ground water, heated deep in the earth by molten rock, moving to the surface through faults at nearly 400 gallons per minute. The water temperature, 85 to 120 degrees, was wonderful to soak in and is said to have healing properties due to the high mineral count. Getting to the hot springs required a climb up a slippery, steep later—but it was well worth it.
Shortly after the hot springs came the part of the trail marked "very difficult section" on the map. Our guide, Reed, had been preparing us for this section of free climbing all day, but we were still a little nervous when we came to several vertical walls along the trail.
While the free climbing proved challenging (and fun!), we felt such a rush and sense of accomplishment after our entire group made it to the top. Dani was one of our groups star climbers and picked up the nickname "Spider Brooke." I think she may be hooked on climbing now.
Afterwards, we stopped for lunch amid ancient rock art from Mohave and Paiute tribes. What a neat feeling to pass through land that, although seemingly uninhabitable, had been home to people years before.
We finished the trail, enjoying the beautiful weather and ever-changing scenery along the way. It was a fabulous day and a welcomed juxtaposition to the glitz and glamor of the city.