Exploring Nature One Step At A Time

Along the Sunset Trail to Music Mountain

West Mountain Sunset

Music Mountain Sunset Trail

Music Mountain Sunset Trail

West Mountain Top Trail

Today I decided to head back up West Mountain in the overcast dark of the morning. Up the Canyon Trail to the Oak Trail, Up the Oak Trail to the West Mountain Trail. When I reach the mountain top I realize to see any wildlife on West Mountain I will need to wait for cooler weather. I need to hike up when the sun is higher in the sky.

When I reach the top I notice a Trail that heads higher onto the Mountain.  At trails end I find another Mountain overlook and best of all a map of the first section of the Sunset Trail.  It is great to see I can reach Music Mountain from the Sunset Trail.   I stay for a quick look at the view of the airport and the racetrack, I make a mental note to comeback on a clear day to watch and photograph jets/airplanes landing or taking off.

I head out along the Sunset Trail and I quickly notice it is not highly groomed.  It is an up hill climb through changing scenery then downhill, more uphill and down again. My favorite point in the hike is when I reach a trail sign on Music Mountain. It says Sunset Trail <——–>, the trail on the left side is barely visible to the right more visible.  Another mental note to bring gloves on the next hike so I can safely push the Poison Oak/Ivy aside as I hike.  I travel on the right trail and into a dense forest of  Conifers and Deciduous Trees. After a mile I decide to head back  as I realize I will need more water and a snack before I try to tackle the full 10 miles of the Sunset Trail.  Actually 13 if  including the hike up to reach the Trail head.

When I reach the West Mountain Top Trail I continue my journey on the west side to the Canyon Trail.  The Canyon Trail down to Central Avenue and home.  I Love exploring new places in the park!!!

Thank You for hiking with me!
Much Love,
Lee

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3 responses

  1. Awesome! Love those trail photos! :D

    August 31, 2010 at 10:06 pm

  2. Tony C

    Lee,
    You found one of the parks’ secrets up
    on West Mt. !! There are indeed several
    good vista’s on the trail over to ( a part of Sunset trail ) Music Mt.
    and views of the airport and highway 270 near Mt. Pine junction.
    There is also a new tower going up near the
    Western-most current tower on West Mt.
    The National Park Service has been working on
    Sunset trail this summer trying to improve the
    rugged trail terrain, mainly on the Music Mt. area
    of the trail, which is the highest point in Hot Springs
    National Park. The rocky areas
    near the switchbacks are difficult to maintain and
    rough on equipment, but the trails are actually being improved.
    If you go out to Music Mt. from West Mt. towards
    the trailhead at Blacksnake Rd., you will pass by several
    wild plum trees along the trail and some cool rocks. You should be sure to take
    water and your camera for this trail !!

    Thanks for the photos !!!

    September 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm

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