Calico Tanks Trail
Turtlehead Peak / Calico Tanks Trails offer some of the best hiking and
Red Rock Canyon. There
is a lot to see in this area because it is unique in its own way
and because it is located at a spot which gives hikers some of the best views of the rest
of this valley. Note that some of these trails and parts of them, are not easy hikes to go on. The good thing about this set of
trails is that you can turn back any time and still have seen
a good part of Red Rock.
The Turtlehead Peak hike
is a 5 mile round trip that is listed as strenuous by the BLM and we
would list this one as
challenging. The other listed trail is the Calico Tanks Trail. Unless
you are in good condition and you want a good workout, we suggest the
Calico Tanks Trail.
Either trail can be easy to wander away from because they both begin in
a wash. Once you are on them however,
they are well marked. Both trails begin at
the same place, they both pass by a couple of attractions worth noting.
The starting point, Sandstone Quarry, is notable for its cut marks and left
over blocks from a time when the yellow sandstone was mined.
The second notable spot is the roasting pit that you will see on
your left as you head towards either trail. The people who lived here in
the past roasted the centers of the Agave plant in large holes in the
ground filled with rocks and combustible
material. This process made the plant edible and evidence of its use can
be found throughout Red Rock Canyon, at Willow Spring for example, and
the Spring Mountains.
Just past the Agave pit, will be the turnoff for the Calico Tanks
Trail. There two marked trails but it seems like a lot of people just
wander around in this part of the trail.