The following pictures are from my first major exploratory hike into the back country of the White Canyon Wilderness. I was trying to see if perhaps there was a route to the top of the Mesa as there is a trail that winds itself just below the cliffs. I followed the old Grand Enchantment Trail that runs up through White Canyon along the western side of the large mesa we called "Minas Tirith."
The views looking back south toward Copper Butte were spectacular as I made my way up the trail!
This is one of the worst sections of the trail, a very steep incline that was extremely rocky. Had to be very careful, as it would have been so easy to sprain an ankle trying to navigate up it.
In my opinion this is one of the wickedest plants to be found in the desert, the Teddy Bear cactus. Nothing cuddly about them at all!
Approaching the dip in the trail, a very beautiful section with all the flowers in bloom!
Got a little bit of a scare near this ravine, as I heard something rather large moving through the brush just above me! A rancher in the area told us that he had hunted mountain lion in the canyon, so this was on my mind as I made my way up the trail. This section is not to far from a cave in the cliffs. After the bear scare, I made sure I at least took a rather large jack knife with me for protection.
Its always nice to find little stone Kiosks along the trail! Loved how this one had a pointer!
Took this shot just as I was beginning to round the massive cliffs of the mesa.
This is a shot of the western side of the mesa. At the far left, you can see the geological feature known locally as the "Jug." As you follow the trail pass the Jug, the Mesa summit seams unapproachable as you are faced with even more high cliffs. It was at this point that I decided to try the trail that ran on the opposite side of the Mesa! More to come!