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Other Hole in the Rock, Mojave Preserve

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Furthermore, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Furthermore

    Furthermore

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    This shortie ended up being an unplanned impromptu canyon on a family vacation which I thought would be worthy of sharing. The Hole in the Rock is a interesting area located deep within the Mojave Preserve and this short canyon was a great way to make the established hiking in the vicinity a little more interesting. Plus, how often do you get to descend a canyon in rhyolite?


    Top of the canyon.
    P5275564.JPG

    Approaching the first rappel.
    P5275565.JPG

    Down-climb to first rappel.
    P5275571.JPG

    First rappel.
    P5275590.JPG
    DSCN0650.JPG

    Narrows
    P5275597.JPG

    Final Rappel (noticed chopped steps from scramblers)
    DSCN0672.JPG


    Here are my notes: Take them or leave them.
    Hole in the Rock Canyon 3A I
    Longest Rap 35 Feet

    Driving
    -Take exit 100 off I-40 for Essex Road.
    -Drive 9.7 miles northwest on Essex Road to a Y junction.
    -Stay right at the Y (Black Canyon Road) and drive an additional 9.7 miles (19.4 from I-40). Turn left for the Hole in the Rock visitor center
    -Drive past the visitor center and make the first turn left after 0.4 mile. Park at the end of the road which is also the trailhead for Hole in the Rock Rings Loop.

    Approach (5-10 minutes)
    -From the parking area, scramble up the path of least resistance (orange rock) to a bench. Traverse right, somewhat exposed, to a high garden and the start of the canyon. The scrambling shouldn't exceed class 3.

    Canyon (15-30 minutes)
    -Once in the high garden, down-climb to the first rappel in an obvious runnel.
    -A small bench before rappel provides access to the chockstone anchor.
    -Easy down-climbing after 1st rappel leads to a small garden with fantastic rock formations, holes and vugs.
    -Rappel 2 is anchored by large rock down narrow section to wide garden. (usually some sort of jingus anchor from scramblers)
    -Intersect the Rings Trail Loop and take a right (the loop counterclockwise).
    -Climb out the canyon (rings provides assistance; although not mandatory) back to the parking area.

    R1: 35 feet Chockstone
    R2: 25 feet Boulder

    GPS Waypoints
    35.0440, -115.3981 Parking
    35.0434, -115.3979 Head of canyon and first rappel
    35.0435, -115.3992 Exit (turn right)

    Map and profile
    Plan View Profile.
    ratagonia and townsend like this.
  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Cool.

    I'm not much of a geologist, but I play one in my mind sometimes...

    Are you sure that is Rhyolite? It looks a lot like welded Tuff.

    Tom
  3. Furthermore

    Furthermore

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    There was some sort of interpretative sign discussing the geology which, clearly, I should have read more carefully. From my understanding, without context it can be difficult to distinguish tuff vs rhyolite. For this area, it is a rhyolite tuff (easy to see the confusion).

    The older '57 geology map – default on the main geology map search engine – doesn't discuss or describe the rock strata very well; however, it is defined better by a newer geology map (took some searching). (Thw): "Prominently layered sanidine rhyolite tuff consisting of welded and unwelded strata, some rich in lithic fragments. Includes overlaying rhyolte flow locally"
    https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/Prodesc/proddesc_21864.htm

    Maybe someone with more knowledge can chime in and discuss the distinguishing characteristics of the types of rock better.
  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Ah, I guess I should maybe have tried to look it up. So yes, it is both - it is rhyolite in composition and welded tuff in formation...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuff#Rhyolitic_tuff
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