Hike into Washington Hollow

We had been meaning to explore a few more of the established trails in the south section of the Red Cliffs (usually called the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve) and with the weather suddenly warming we decided to take advantage of our small window of suitable temperatures; at just above 2,000 feet in elevation, this area is hot much of the year and faces south to boot. I had read many of the trail descriptions and this route into Washington Hollow sounded the most interesting: though it involved crossing a few miles of sandy, low desert, the trail led into a wash and then into a canyon with interesting rock formations. Sounded pretty good.

Due to fuzzy directions and our not having a 4 wheel drive vehicle we began the hike about 3 ½ miles from where the trail entered the wash and got interesting. This left a lot of walking across open desert that was not the most riveting hiking. Once we began hiking up the wash however our spirits lifted as swirled, striped sandstone came into view, set against the backdrop of the red cliffs and the Pine Valley Mountains. Much of the patterned rock was unique and both Tom and I enjoyed spending time strolling through the canyon.

With thoughts of the return slog in full sun and the increasing temperatures on our minds we decided to scramble up the the canyon walls in order to get some final views before turning around. Tom and I scrambled up opposite sides for no apparent reason; we yelled back and forth pointing things out while Abby mostly laid in the shade in the damp sand of the wash. She continued supervising until she lost sight of Tom and then scrambled up his butte to join him just before we descended.

Finally, in the spirit of full disclosure (mostly because I know Tom is reading this): his butte ended up being 20 or so feet higher than my butte.