"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Hiking Grapevine Canyon in Laughlin, NV

Laughlin, Nevada
Big Bend of the Colorado SP

Now that the weekend is here and Steve is done with work we can head out for that hike that RV friend, Ruth, told us about.  Grapevine Canyon is about 5 miles out and back.  It's not really a published hike as it is very sacred to the local Indian tribes.
Petroglyphs, waterfalls, a slot canyon and some rock climbing.  Let's go!

Craig and Jo stayed behind to do some errands and Jo wanted to make dinner for all of us.
Apparently we were lucky that we didn't do the hike yesterday.  The entire area was closed down as the police were searching for a criminal with possible hostages.
The hike starts out in a sandy dry river bed for the first quarter mile.
Here's where it gets interesting.  At the mouth of the canyon you'll find the petroglyphs.  Lots of them!  Some of the best I've seen.  Very clear and varied.  Surprisingly they have not been destroyed by idiots as they are down low.  These petroglyphs are over 1000 years old.  You will find them in the "varnish" which is the dark areas that the symbols are scratched into.

We start up the canyon to the first waterfall.

Nice view looking back.
The first "waterfall".  Just a small trickle.  I'm sure it's more impressive after a good rain.

Now for the rock scrambling.  We look at both the left and right sides trying to figure out the easiest way.  Steve C, Dianne and Steve go up the left side.  Hurley and I were somewhat committed to the right side so we stuck with it.  If you look close at the second boulder on the left you can make out a guy in a gray shirt.  Very tiny.  Gives you perspective on how large these boulders were.

Here's a zoomed in pic of Steve in the red. (top, center)

At the top they wave to me.

I think I ended up on the steeper side.  Thanks for the picture Steve and Dianne. The granite was so sharp I cut my leg just leaning on it as I pushed myself up. The rocks had so many different shapes.  Some were layed back and some were stacked and some had strange patterns.

A heart shaped indentation in one of the boulders. This is about 2 feet across.
Finally we see some cactus blooms.

Dianne and Steve C with a ridge of spire rocks in the background.
So strong!

Some rocks had strange carved out patterns.
Hurley was getting pooped.
This large steep boulder we had to climb up and over had an interesting raised ridge stripe on it.

 Some little tunnels to climb through.
The namesake grapevines that cover sections of the draw.  Ruth forgot to tell me how overgrown and sharp they were.  Should've worn long pants and we wouldn't have gotten so many scratches. Thanks again for the picture Steve C and Dianne.
There were a few Cottonwoods growing in the dry riverbed.  It was nice to see this patch of green although we did have to work out way through some thickets that had little spines all over them waiting to grab hold of your skin!

After a wrong turn, we backtrack and finally find the little slot canyon.  Very cool to hike through.

Steve C got this great shot of all of us in the slot.
Dead end.  We had to hike back out, around and over to continue.
We found the last pool but again there wasn't much water in it.  There was a couple sitting nearby and they let us know there were a lot of bees there.  Good to know.  I've seen enough.  Time to find a shady spot and eat lunch.  We rested a bit then headed back down.
Steve and Dianne.
This time were going to try going down the middle of the canyon as one guy we passed thought it was easier.  At first it was but then it had a steep drop.  We decided that was not going to work.  There was a father/son on the opposite side of the canyon telling us it would be better to cross to the other side were they were.  We tried that too.  Nope.  Way too scary at one point on a very steep slope.  We all decided to stay to the left side that they went up earlier.  It had a few tricky parts but we all got down.  Even Hurley.  There really isn't much trail here you just kind of scramble along where ever.  And it never looks the same on the way down as it does on the way up.
Back to the petroglyphs.
Looking back at the mouth of the canyon.  We're glad to be down as it turned out to be a nice 5+ mile hike.  The weather was perfect!  Sunny but cool.  We haven't had many of these really nice days.  Perfect hiking weather.  While we hiked Jo was cooking up us quite a dinner. A delicious pork roast, asparagus with bacon and the best potatoes.  They were sliced, buttered and coated with garlicky parmesan cheese. We felt a bit guilty!
Steve and Dianne's rig.
Craig and Jo.
The winds remained calm so we enjoyed a nice campfire after our dinner on the outside veranda.
 Thank you Jo for the wonderful dinner!!
We tried to make doughboys.  We wrapped some pop and fresh dough around a stick, browned it in the coals from the fire, brushed it in butter then sprinkled it with sugar and cinnamon.  Steve C decided he wanted chocolate and caramel drizzled on top.  Dessert!  It doesn't look like much but it was yummy.
Tomorrow we leave Steve and Dianne as they prepare to return to Canada.  The rest of us will head to Valley of Fire State Park to do a lot more hiking and some boondocking at Lake Mead.
What a great day!


  1. Nice pics. Thanks for the invite, that was a great hike! So glad Dianne's knees held out so we could complete the whole route. We had a blast with you guys and Craig and Jo. Can hardly wait for next snowbird season. Safe travels!

    1. It really turned out fun. We'll have to search out more slot canyon hikes. They've really turned out to be a favorite of ours. We had a great time too. See ya in Q!

  2. This is a neat little hike. I like that the petroglyphs aren't far so even nonhikers can get that far to see them. We must have hit the jackpot of trails because we didn't have any of that tough climbing except to walk up the steep long rock with the raised hump through the middle. We went up to the left and were way over the grapevines. We looked down on that mess and followed a trail that went along the upper left side til it brought down on the opposite side of the vines. I guess this area is a "Choose Your Own Adventure" type hike! It was disappointing to not find even a trickle of water.

    1. We did wander around some other paths. We do like a good scramble now and them. Those vines were horrible. It looks like they get cut back now and then but very overgrown in some areas. I did expect a bit more water and more of a drop. But it was nice and Hurley sure like plopping down in it to cool off.

  3. Glad you enjoyed the hike, sorry I didn't think to mention how scrapped up your legs could get. Looking forward to a hike sometime this spring in CA with you!!

    1. No worries Ruth! The hike was fantastic! Thanks for suggesting it! Yes, I hope we can get a hike or bike ride in when we're back. Or both!

  4. The doughboys sound almost like wannadingers, hoping to make some in the next few days. Love hiking the slot canyons, maybe we'll try that one someday when we get out there.

    1. They are basically the same as WDs! Love the slots too!

  5. What a great hike. Hurley sure is a trooper :-) I would probably opt to put my toes in the water as well... LOL

    1. If the pool of water was larger, we'd have all put our toes in. The "waterfalls" were just trickling and only about 3 feet!

  6. What a varied hike!! I'm looking forward to seeing the petroglyphs when we're in Laughlin at the end of the month. Tessa can always find a sliver of shade too - smart pups :-))

  7. How nice the pork looks. Was that Superman holding up the boulder?

    1. Dinner was delicious and yes that was Superman holding up the boulder!

  8. We were just there.Didnt realize they're waterfalls and a slot canyon,now we will have to go back darn it!!lol

    1. Well the waterfalls weren't really waterfalls. They just rolled down some boulders and/or dropped a few feet. The slot canyon was almost at the end and to the right.

  9. Slot canyons, scrambling, petroglyphs and great company, what more could you ask for?


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