Crystal Spring & Wood Canyon
Story & Photos by Denis & Sandi Inman
The head count at the Monday, March 11th, 7:55 AM PDST Driver’s Meeting for the Pahrump Valley 4 Wheelers trail run was easy, as only Gary and Sherrie showed up. They arrived at 7:30 to make certain that I did not leave them as I had done on a previous trip. (In my defense, once it became apparent I had left them, I went back.)
From the Horizon Market at Mesquite and the 160, we drove North to Crystal Springs Lodge Road 928500, just South of Johnnie and turned East. Once on the trail, we aired down. The road up to Crystal Spring is challenging, but nothing that any 4 wheel drive with good ground clearance could not conquer. After we parked at the structures, Gary and I hiked up a little further to the spring. I decided to climb through the overgrowth on the old trail to see if there was anything to photograph and Gary wisely went back. When we had reassembled at the Jeeps, we started back down the hill.
I could not find a trail that connected the Crystal Springs road to the Wood Canyon road up in the hills, so we had to go almost back to the highway to the fork at Mountain View Road. The trail I was looking for is not easy to see coming back from the spring and I mistook Mountain View Road for the trail. After only about a couple hundred yards, I realized we were heading too far South instead of East Southeast, turned around and found the correct route.
The trail is in pretty good shape considering all of the rain we received recently. We spotted some wild horses along the way and they didn’t look like they had too much trouble finding forage through the Winter, but I bet they are looking forward to Spring. Wood Canyon is beautiful. I kept searching the cliffs for, and half expected to see bighorn sheep climbing around. I guess today was not our day. At the terminus of the trail, I once again tripped and stumbled up the canyon for more photos. The view was awesome, but it was already about 11:30 and the Sun was almost directly overhead, ruining a number of photos. I had to delete them due to glare, but pictures do not do the canyon justice anyway. You have to see it to understand how gorgeous it is.
As we exited the canyon, we followed the main wash down to the Pahrump Nugget 250 race course and used that, some powerline roads and several other connecting trails to get back home. We stopped off at Sandi’s and my place (I called her from the Jeep) at about 1:30 to tell stories.