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Visited: September 6, 2015
Description: A quick hike with ring bolts obstacles to pass narrow and steep sections of the canyon
Length: 1.5 mile loop
Elevation: 150 feet
Duration: 30-45 minutes
Difficulty: Easy, a little climbing is involved
Terrain: Dirt, sand
Wildlife: Fire ants? Red ants? Huge ass ants, that’s all you need to know
Parking: Lot (35.042225, -115.395630)
Best time to go: Mornings or late afternoons
Bring: Camera, water, sunscreen
Despite our car hiccup earlier that morning (See article here), the HikeSnobs were determined to get back on track. We made our way back to Mojave Desert with our new rental: Diego, the Toyota RAV4.
Although Diego wasn’t as powerful as our last rental, Dora the Ford Explorer, it got us back to the desert. Next stop, Hole-in-the-Wall Rings Trail.
We arrived at 3:30PM. There was only one other car in the lot belonging to two older couples. The husbands did a little exploring up the hill while the wives were right behind us on the trail. The trailhead is located on the left side of the parking lot; a little farther back from the information station. Look out for the Rings Trail Information Board displaying a map showing you the loop.
We followed the sand path for 1/4 of a mile until we hit a chain-linked fence with a narrow opening which continues towards the right. The trail soon parallels a road on the left side for another mile or so. The trail itself is well-maintained; there are plenty of markers keeping us on the right path. When the trail splits into two, we knew to stay to the right (HikeSnobs intuition… or just common sense).
What makes this hike really unique are the porous holes in the rock. The rock formations were created millions of years ago from an erupted volcano that spewed gas and ash into this area. After the ash cooled and gas dissipated, this is what it left behind:
While the first part of the hike is pretty monotonous the second part of the trail gets more interesting. As you enter the canyon, there isn’t an obvious path so we had to keep our eyes peeled for the first ring bolts. HikeSnobs love obstacles on any adventure so we were ready to climb. We found the first bolts easily and made our way up.
There are two ring bolt sections to help you pass steep and narrow sections of the canyon. It was surprisingly easy to climb. We need 10 more rings bolts to make this more challenging.
A little bit of climbing and we made it to the top! We were just about to finish the hike when we bumped into one of the husbands we saw earlier. He was in a panic, looking for the two wives we saw earlier. He said they were visiting from Belgium, they didn’t have cellphones and it was unlike them to just wander off. We assured them that they were right behind us in the beginning of the hike, so they should be coming soon so just wait another 15 minutes.
20 minutes later… nothing.
Their husbands were getting worried; they even called 911 at the information station’s payphone. There was still a bit of daylight left and even though we had one more destination to hit before it got dark, we decided to check the trail again ourselves. We were worried they may have missed the split and went left instead of right. Half of our group raced through the trail like ninjas to retrace their steps, while the other half decided to drive along the road parallel to the loop screaming their names through the sunroof.
“MARTAAA!!! LEILLAAAA!!!” We searched for 15 minutes and nothing… maybe this was their plan all along? Maybe they’re secret lovers and have been waiting to leave their husbands behind?
We drove back to the parking lot to check in with the husbands. To our relief, we came back to four smiling faces waving back at us. It turns out the wives didn’t go the wrong way, they were just taking their sweet sweet time through the trail. They apologized and thanked us for our concern. We were hoping to save some lives but we were happy they were safe.
Lesson of the day: Wait another 5 minutes…
- Stay to the right on the trail…
- Watch out for ant mounds!
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