|beginning of the Grapevine Hills Trail|
The trail wasn't really exciting to begin with as far as the landscape goes, so we kept our eyes peeled for birds and the elusive cold blooded creatures that are rumored to inhabit this park. The first 3/4 or so of the trail follows a wash and is fairly easy hiking. The scenery did get more interesting as we progressed. Here are a few shots.
You may notice that there still aren't any reptile shots. I may get skunked on this trip 😢 About 3/4 of the way into the hike, the trail began to climb Grapevine Hills towards the Balanced Rock. Grapevine Hills is an exposed laccolith. According to Wikipedia, "a laccolith is a sheet intrusion (or concordant pluton) that has been injected between two layers of sedimentary rock. The pressure of the magma is high enough that the overlying strata are forced upward, giving the laccolith a dome or mushroom-like form with a generally planar base." So there you have it. The bottom line is the geology here is fascinating and different from anything else we've seen so far.
|interesting tree along the trail|
|view back down the trail|
When we got to the end of the trail at Balanced Rock, we had it all to ourselves. All the people that beat us to the trail head passed us as they were heading back to the parking area. The rock is a pretty big boulder to be balanced the way that it is. For scale, I have a picture of us behind it, then a few more shots of it from different angles.
|this yucca is about 6-7' tall|
|I guess this would be considered balanced also|
|another cactus skeleton|