Sunday, September 12, 2021

9/12 Hiking at Stanley B Springs Trail in Mount Charleston

After a long and hot summer, we needed to get outside to breath the fresh air. However, since it was still quite hot down in the valley, we decided to head up to our favorite summer getaway: Mt. Charleston. We've done quite a few trails at this point so we wanted to try something new but we wanted a warm up round so something a bit shorter. We conducted some research on their website discovered the Stanley B Springs hike. I previously had not heard of this hike but quickly found a KML file on Gaia (my preferred app) and off we went! 

The trailhead isn't marked but it does start at a small dirt parking lot. It looks more like a turn off than an actual parking lot so you could miss it if you aren't paying attention. The upside is that since it isn't marked, it wasn't very crowded even for a Sunday. Once we started moving, the trail was very easy to follow as it climbed up in a dense forest. After the first half mile or so, we ascended on the side of the edge overlooking the town of Mount Charleston. We tried to get Winston to appreciate the views but he was too busy smelling all the good smells. 

As we continued back into the forest, we came upon an old tree that had fallen in our path. The tree appeared to have been there for quite some time since the route curved up and around the fallen tree. We thought this would be a good opportunity to test out all of Winston's latest off-leash training and see how he did! He passed the off leash test but unexpectedly, failed the tree crossing test. Needless to say, Winston always keeps us entertained. 

As we pushed on, we found ourselves walking into what started out as damp dirt but quickly became a small stream. This was a tell tale sign that we were approaching the spring! Since the trail was named the Stanley B Springs surely there would be a spring at the end? Maybe there would be but late Summer / early fall isn't the time of year to see it. The stream was so small in fact, we didn't think it was photo worthy. However, we did get a cool photo of what used to be the start of a mine. Over the years, we've learned that most of these hiking trails or off-roading trails have some historical significance to them; very rarely do the trails just exist for us to hike on. This one was no different. Maybe years ago, probably decades, it was used as a small mine. As the mine dried up, so did the trail. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy it! 

After reaching the end of the hike, we took a short break and headed back down. Since going down is always so much easier, we were able to grab a quick shot of Winston smiling for the camera. What a goofball! As we finished the trail, we all had some water, a few bites of snacks and headed for home. Our total distance was 2.64 miles climbing 652 feet taking us 1 hour and 34 minutes. Not bad!