“aka The Bowl”
For me, there has to be some element of a hike that makes it really special in at least one of three categories: the actual hike or trail itself, some special geographical element, or an incredible view at the end. The Bowl achieves a higher than average score on its trail but nothing spectacular. You start in a high desert terrain and quickly cross a wash into sandstone slickrock and sand. It’s a lot more stone than sand luckily. Sand can be a real pain after a very short distance. But what really makes The Bowl special is its geographical formation at the end of the hike. After a short mile or so in, you will loop right onto a large sandstone rise. It doesn’t seem like the right thing to do when looking for a huge hollowed-out bowl in sandstone, but it is. I learned the hard way where it was by overshooting it and climbing to the highest point I could find in order to get a better vantage point. This is a good time to mention that more preparation and planning is always a good idea. Once you climb up the sandstone tower, you’ll notice a shallow bowl filled with sand and grass and, depending on the recent weather and season, maybe even some water. That’s not the actual Bowl with a capital B, but it’s still a cool additional feature. As you head further up the tower, you’ll come to the real Bowl.
Really is worth the hike, especially around sunset! The bowl itself is really not that spectacular, but the views are amazing. The hike is only around 2 miles round-trip, but the upward climb gets pretty harsh on your legs. Make sure to bring lots of water as there is little shade along the way. You have to make your way through a shallow canyon in the first quarter, then its a sandstone wash most of the way up. You then climb up a rock formation off to the right of the wash to get to the bowl. There's a baby bowl that might trick you, but the real Vortex is up a little higher. It's so quiet because there are no real roads around, but you still get cell service!
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