Marvelous Mountain in the Desert

 Bristlecone pine along the trails on mount Charleston are sculpted by wind and rain. For example, when hiking the north loop trail in Cayo canyon, you will find beautiful sculptures at the top near Raintree, a very old bristlecone pine, she stands alone. On the way to her majestic beauty, you can find many sculptures of these trees leading  the way to her. I’ve done a small series of artwork on these very trees, because they are incredibly captivating. The colors vary depending on how high the sun is in the sky, if there is an overcast on the day of picture taking, and also depending on my mood while hiking. Sometimes I use a hint of yellow, blue, orange, as well as, of course, the contrasting shadows. I love the moments under an overcast sky where a different mood blankets over the subject I am photographing. The goal of this series was to capture to mood, movement, and possible adventures of these trees. Some of them were still alive and thriving while others were existing without their protective layer of pine needles. Some of these beautiful wonders had been struck by lightning and offered even deeper color hues of inspiration. I hope these paintings spark your interest and encourage you to see the beauty of our natural world.

Thank you for taking a walk, hike, and exploring Mt. Charleston with me. This beautiful mountain in the desert is part of the Spring Mountain Range. The Peak of Charleston itself stands at an elevation of 11,916 feet. There are many different mileage details on the internet of how long the hike is, from 16.1 to 21 miles which is a vast difference. The GO Mt. Charleston Site has the trail leading from the South loop at an 8.5 mile strenuous hike. Here is the information if you would like to go to the peak. We personally prefer the North Loop trail hike up to Rain Tree. It is a nice steep climb and lovely in all weather. You can also keep hiking to get to the summit from here. If you have a favorite hike on this mountain or surrounding areas, please leave it in the comments below.

Thank you all for reading and have a wonderful Thursday!

-Karen Hilliard

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