Pine Creek Trail
The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is only about a half an hour from downtown Las Vegas. It is a place rich in natural and cultural resources. Many Las Vegans already take advantage of this Park, but far more have never even been here. For the seven years that Ive lived in Las Vegas
this has been my backyard. Ive hiked every trail here several times, and
Ive also managed to go most places where there arent any trails. But with
all of the hiking opportunities in the Park Id have to say that the best
overall hiking trail here is the Pine Creek Trail.
What makes this a great trail is its diversity. The difficulty rating can be
anywhere from moderately easy to very difficult. Depending upon how far back
in the canyons youre willing to go. If youre a novice or casual hiker it
has several points of interest, including a Fire Ecology trail where you
can learn about the affects of fire on this environment.
A little farther up the trail, perhaps 15 minutes from the parking lot, the
creek comes within just a few feet of the trail. Here you can enjoy the shade
of the Ponderosa pines that line the creek. The amount of water in the creek
will vary from year to year depending on the previous winters rainfall. But
you can always find more water in the creek by traveling farther into the
Rather than battling the brush by following the creek you may want to get
back on the trail and head on up to the foundation of the old homestead of
Horace and Glenna Wilson.
Over the years Ive spent a lot of mornings here just enjoying the quiet. It
seems like youre a million miles away from everything. Sometimes Ill go
down to the creek, sit on a rock and listen to the sound of the flowing
water. At other times Ill just sit on the foundation of the old Wilson home
and watch the wildlife in the meadow. Ive seen all manner of critters out
here. Big horn sheep, Mule deer, coyote, and wild horses have all been seen
here. The day I was out with Larry Clinesmith we saw some gorgeous Western
bluebirds with their electric blue coloring. And thats not all we saw.
David Bert ... Wow. What's that?
Larry Clinesmith, Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association . . . There's a
hawk, looks like a, I think it's a red tail. And that's a little bit unusual
because it hasn't warmed up to much out here yet this morning. And a lot of
the soaring birds rely on those thermals coming up. See him wheel and turn.
There, catching the current. He'll be going up here a minute. That's neat.
Over the years Larry Clinesmith and I have seen quite a bit of wildlife out
here. Larrys a hike leader for the Red Rock Canyon Interpretive association.
If youd like to know all about the Pine Creek Trail or any other trail out
here just sign up for one of his hikes at the visitor center and ask him.
David Bert ... can you give us a sense of the history of the House. And the
Larry Clinesmith ... Horace and Glenna came out here, well actually it was
Horace, her husband, that was riding horseback in the area, and saw Pine
Creek, fell in love with it, and homesteaded the 80 a. in 1922.
David Bert ... this is a long way from town, how did they get a back and forth?
Larry Clinesmith ... well if you come around the scenic drive and park at
what's now the parking lot at Pine Creek, hike down the trail, you will
eventually come on to the actual road that they constructed. It doesn't even
look like a road now, but they had a Fliver and then later on a Model T and
then later on a Dodge, and every time that they would go into town they would
hook a drag to the vehicle and drag it. And try to improve the road. They
actually had a permit from the county to do this.
What a sight they must have been on the weekends. All dressed for the dances
that they loved so much, driving into town with Horace standing on the drag
to give it weight. But it was worth it. Living out here must have been like
living in paradise. Not only were the natural surroundings spectacular, but
Glenna had quite a garden here. As a matter of fact theres still an apple
tree in the meadow that bears fruit every year.
Today theres nothing left of the house but some of the foundation, and a
bare remnant of the old garden. But the view is still here. And if you come
out in the early morning you can look up thorough the trees and see the red
rocks glow with the rising sun. And as you sit here enjoying the sights and
sounds youll come to understand what it was that brought Horace and Glenna
Wilson to homestead this little stop along the way.
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