Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Rainbow Basin & Owl Canyon Campground


We left Aquanga around our usual “get on the road” time of 10:30am. Our trip to the Rainbow Basin Natural area was only 160 miles so we had plenty of time.  We only made two stops, one just north of San Bernardino for lunch, then the other in Barstow at the Flying J for diesel and water.

The Rainbow Basin and the Owl Canyon campground is about 10 miles north of Barstow and is on BLM land.The campground is a first come first served and the best part is only $6.00 a night. There are no hook ups and you need to bring your own water. They do have a limited amount of water in a tank but it is not intended for people to fill their RV water tanks with. The sites have a nice covered picnic table and fire pits.

Here is our spot.


Our view looking the other way from the picnic table


There is absolutely no one else in the campground. It is almost eerie being the only ones around for miles. If it was a little bit warmer it would be perfect. The daytime highs are only getting to the low 50’s. Night time lows are hitting 29 degrees…

There is a small one way scenic drive through the basin area that gives a good perspective of the geological diversity that is here. The desert tortoise lives here and we have been keeping our eye out for one although it is still to early. They will spend November through February in a torpid or dormant state in their underground burrows.


Pictures from the loop drive.





Times like this I wish we had a Geologist along to describe the different layers. I have tried to read about it but I tend to wander off on a different subject, look a jackrabbit!

We also hiked the Owl Canyon trail. It is a two mile hike up the canyon following a wash. Once you get to the 6 foot dry waterfall you have to somehow climb up it to continue on. More on that in a minute.

The trailhead is right behind our RV so we waited till around noon for the weather to warm up a bit before we headed out.

At the trailhead


Up the wash with different rock layers along the way



Oooh a cave


With a dead tarantula guarding the cave


Getting Max to go in the cave was a wee bit difficult… with her reasoning that he had a family that lives in the cave. But after convincing her that Tarantulas do not live in cave’s but burrow under the rocks in the wash, she bravely followed me in. ( I guess I need to really find out where tarantulas live)


I did not have a flashlight with me so we could not go all the way through. From what I have read,  it is actually a tunnel that will pass through to another open canyon area.


A short resting stop


Back on the trail



Skinny people can get over this dry waterfall. Short little fat guys like me, not so much! It was just too narrow and the picture does not reflect how straight up and down it is. Max was able to shimmy between the rocks and scramble over them.  I ended up climbing over the right side face with Max pulling me up from the top.



Then another scramble up about 8 feet


Then it followed this little slot canyon


Then it opened up a bit


And it was time for another break for we were at the end of the trail.


It was a fun hike with a little bit of a challenge (for us anyway) getting over two dry waterfalls. It was about a 3.5 mile round trip hike and we really enjoyed looking at all the rock formations and the colors of the different layers.

Today we are going to go do some geocaching and a little bit more exploring.

Enjoy Your Day!

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