False Fall Colors, Soldier Trail – 8/26/2017

Orange and red Desert Cotton Leaf. August 2017.
Orange and red Desert Cotton Leaf. August 2017.

The summer rains are long gone and it is hot – too hot for low-on-the-mountain Soldier Trail I guess and, just after the overlook of Soldier Canyon, the easy access to the water and carved rock are too tempting, my turn around point on today’s (short) hike.

Today what really catches my attention is the beautiful ‘false fall’ leaves of the Desert Cotton (Gossypium thurberi) – stunning beautiful fall colors dotting the hillside, a cruel false signal of fall with so many hot days still to come…

Desert Cotton near Soldier Trail. August 2017.
Desert Cotton near Soldier Trail. August 2017.
A red Desert Cotton Leaf near Soldier Canyon. August 2017.
A red Desert Cotton Leaf near Soldier Canyon. August 2017.
Desert Cotton Flower. August 2017.
Desert Cotton Flower. August 2017.

Bug Spring and Soldier Trail – 2/14/2016

Power poles along the Soldier Trail - at one time these provided power to the Prison Camp. February 2016.
Power poles along the Soldier Trail – at one time these provided power to the Prison Camp. February 2016.

We started at the Lower Green Mountain Trailhead in Bear Canyon – dirty snow was piled near the start of the Bug Spring Trail and there was occasional snow on/near the trail for the first few miles – but it disappeared too quickly, as we ran thru the Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Site and on to the Soldier Trail the temperature seemed oppressively hot for February – we were grateful for the wind and occasional shade as we made our way down to the Soldier Trail Trailhead.

Grassy hillsides above Soldier Canyon on the Soldier Trail. February 2016.
Grassy hillsides above Soldier Canyon on the Soldier Trail. February 2016.

Lower Green Mountain Trailhead to Soldier Trail Trailhead  (Bug Spring Trail, Molino Basin Trail and Soldier Trail) – 8.1 miles, + 740’/-3,200′ of elevation gain/loss.