It's our first official hike of the season. And, honestly, I didn't love it.
It felt tough, even though it was only 1,617 ft of elevation gain. It offered lots of varying terrain and not much of a visible trail throughout, so we were kind of on our own, so we ended up doing a large amount of mountaineering with many areas of cliff drop-offs and rocky canyons, which resulted in a lot of backtracking, too – something this "efficient" hiker is not too fond of.
I'm not sure I'd recommend this hike to others, but it was an interesting area with some very unique rocks.
Due to it being the early part of the season, we had to drive to lower elevation in the desert to get a hike in without being impeded by too much snow. So, we headed down into the rural desert near Pyramid Lake.
Here, you can see glimpses of the Incandescent Rocks from a distance as we make the drive there.
Getting there required some driving on remote dirt and forest roads. And then we got to this very official gate:
We parked the vehicle at this point, and then in order to pass through, we had to roll this barbed-wire gate open. And since it was closed when we arrived, we returned it to its closed position before we headed on foot up the long road to the official trailhead for Incandescent Rocks. (In hindsight, we probably could have saved ourselves some hiking mileage by driving farther up the road past the gate, but we didn't know what we didn't know at the time.)
A closer look at Incandescent Rocks as we hiked in.
Maybe I'll sit a spell on this here rock bench. It's just my size.
I found a race car to drive.
A trickle of a waterfall in the desert.
Pyramid Lake in the distance in a view from the top.
This is me not knowing where to go next because there is no trail.
This canyon...was bigger than it looks. And it was not an easy route.
It took us quite a bit longer than expected to complete this hike, because we had a hard time finding a feasible route back to the long dirt road that led to the vehicle. We eventually made it. First hike of the season and it felt good to get outdoors and test our legs, but this hike definitely won't make any top-10 lists for me!