Petrified Canyon Inaccessible Springs

For our memorial day weekend we join the Friends of Nevada Wilderness at the Black Rock Rendezvous. We enjoyed our spring monitoring trip so much last weekend that we ask for another assignment. Renee joins us to look for some springs high up in Petrified canyon.

Our first challenge is to park our camper along the steep access road. This may be where we incur tire damage, but it doesn’t deflate until we’re almost back to camp.

Roadside Parking

Once we’re in the canyon we find bits of petrified wood amidst the blooming purple sage.

Petrified Wood

Purple Sage

Cobblestone walls hint at the rugged canyon above, while the clouds play with the sunlight on the playa below.

Cobblestone Wall

Playa Light

Just 180 feet before the GPS waypoint marking the first spring, we find the way blocked by an overhanging cave. I manage to climb up to a viewpoint on the north side of the canyon, but see no easy way down. A small owl (screetch owl?) bursts out of the bushes and bumps Renee’s leg before disappearing into a hole in the rocks.

Petrified Canyon Mouth

Canyon Gate

Upper Petrified Canyon

It makes a great hike, but we’re disappointed in our failure to collect any spring data. We speculate whether we could rappel into the canyon if we returned with gear for it. It would be a tough approach!

As I hinted, we get a flat driving back to the rendezvous camp, just short of our campsite. It takes us a little longer than we’d like to change the tire, but we’re glad to prove we can do it! I see a hole in the tread but can’t quite tell what caused it. It’s a dirty way to end the day.

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