Monday, January 19, 2009

Historic Railroad Hiking Trail

Of all the times John and I took Lakeshore Scenic Drive to launch our boat at Lake Mead Marina, we never thought to explore a hiking trail that starts at the beginning of a little parking lot before the park entrance. We've only noticed cars parked there and have always wondered about the points of interests along the path of the historic railroad hiking trail.

Upon the suggestion of John's parents, who have taken the trail a couple times, we decided to embark on a little journey of our own on President's Day. Soon our we were walking along what use to be a railroad track that began construction in 1931. The story of the railroad hiking trail is a fascinating one if you would like to read about it.

(View from parking lot)

(Start of the trail)
Being outside and taking the 7-mile round trip hike was tempting, especially since the weather was gorgeous. I looked back at the trail head where we parked upon the homes nestled in the hills of Boulder City. I wondered if John and Maggie could see us from their home.
The view of Lake Mead itself is absolutely beautiful like the ones in these blog images. Soon we reached the first tunnel of five, all which are oversized (approximately 300 ft. in length and 25 ft in diameter) to accommodate the transportation of equipment to Hoover Dam.
Most of the visitors we saw on the trail were riding mountain bikes; people of all ages were exploring the trail. Though we could have brought our bikes but I would have been too challenged to stay balanced over gravel to admire the beautiful view of Lake Mead. Click on the photo to see a larger panorama of Hemenway Harbor.
Walking through the tunnels felt like we were in the movie, Stand By Me, running away from home.

Boy would we have been a couple of unhappy kids if we were actually running away from home, LOL.

We went through several more tunnels before we found ourselves on the top level of the parking lot for Hoover Dam. (The last part of the trail zizags down ramps to the parking area so bicycles are not allowed.) The shot below is a panorama of Hoover Dam and construction of the highest bridge in the U.S. and second highest in the world at 1,500 feet above sea level.

On our way back to the entrance of the trail, we parked on a rock to have a picnic and watched the traffic to Arizona pass by.

(Can you spot John camouflaged among the rocks, LOL?)

Then it was time to head home and dust ourselves off.

A nice hot bath was in order and boy, oh boy was I sore from the hike for the next couple of days!


Dano said...

I do remember that being a really cool trail. I've always admired the engineers of railroads that were built back in that time. Awesome work done back then digging tunnels, going over passes, etc.

Daly said...

@ Dano: Amazing they did it without many of the advanced technology we have today.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY by the way!! Hope you have a good one.