Boneshaker Hill Trail

Boneshaker Sign

Fossil Ridge Trail

Preparing for the Day's Trail Ride

The sun wasn't even up over the North Blue Diamond Hills. We were just a bit chilly waiting for the start of our hike. And, the parking lot was already filling up at the Cowboy Trails. Finally, the sun peeked up over the ridge to the east. We felt the warmth. Then, it was time for our hike and we walked back into the cold shade! Horses, mules and wranglers were all getting their jewels and baubles on at the barn. We saw King, the Clydesdale, lording over all the others. Our route sidled by the wonderful beasts and turned left up the little hill on the other side of the corral. The trail took us across the desert to the Boneshaker Hill Trail junction.

Bridgepoint Peak from Boneshaker Hill

A little warmer with the short approach, we began our steepest climb of the day. A strong group of twelve hikers charged up the hill.

Climbing Boneshaker Hill

By the top of the initial section of the hill, the group had stayed together pretty well. We took a breath then continued climbing between Skull Canyon and Cave Canyon.

Standing at the Edge of Cave Canyon

Taking a Breath

Gaining altitude quickly, we looked over the edge a few times to gawk at the deep neighboring canyons. The trail kept climbing at a slightly more gentle slope but we were breathing fresh air and enjoying the lower elevation … that is, without the extra effort to breathe as we had to do all summer in the higher elevations of the Spring Mountains NRA. Finally, after passing two junctioning trails to the left, our route flattened out and reached the Boneshaker Sign. Here, the SARS Trail turned to the right and the Radio Tower Trail proceeded straight. We turned right to take the trail that basically crossed the top of the North Blue Diamond Hills.

Boneshaker Sign Junction (Boneshaker Hill & SARS Trail)

Soon, we passed three bikers that we had met at the trailhead. They were very excited about making their first run down Boneshaker Hill. We wished them luck! They were stoked! (Do they still say that?)

SARS Trail

The SARS Trail dipped down at the top of the left fork of Cave Canyon then climbed up and over to the top of the right fork. Next, the trail ran down along the side of this right fork and we stopped for a break. We ate. We talked. And, we found a few fossils.

Break Time on SARS Trail

Interesting Precambrian Fossil

These hills are full of Precambrian fossils. All you have to do is look! Next, the trail continued down canyon until it climbed out the other side and passed the trails for Second Finger. First Finger came after that. Then, we junctioned with the old mining road trail and turned to the right. Finally, we junctioned with the Echo Canyon Trail that turned to the right. After a pause, we started down the top of Echo Canyon passing one of the First Finger Trails. There are two small switchbacks before hikers are able to veer down to the right into the Echo Canyon wash. We continued straight down the Fossil Ridge Trail and the scenery got even better!

Working our Way over to Echo Canyon

Fossil Ridge Trail traverses along the side of Echo Canyon among dark colored conglomerate bouldered walls. The trail junctions with the Bunny Trail as it starts to go more steeply downhill.

Starting down Fossil Ridge Trail above Echo Canyon

The Fossil Ridge Trail turns to the right here and continues along a ridge. A beautiful cactus garden grows on the ridge across from the Echo Canyon high walls.

Conglomerate Boulders near Fossil Trail

Hiking down Fossil Ridge Trail

The trail has been improved for the horses and mules that accommodate the trail rides but only down to a certain point where they enter the trail from the stables below. After that, our trail had difficult footing for the remaining short descent until we hit the desert floor. It was an absolutely beautiful day … again! Great group and lots of fun!
6 miles; 1200 feet elevation gain; 3.25 hours; average moving speed 1.8 mph

Cactus Garden on Fossil Ridge

New Stuff at the Trail Rides Station

Descending Fossil Ridge to the Trailhead