Los Angeles, CA
Pathfinder | 60 pts
This fun trail commences adjacent to the picnic area at the Hole in the Wall visitor center. Though it is touted in the guidebooks as the "most exciting" hike in the MNP, the real draw is the initial descent through volcanic ash flows that have weathered into some amazing and interesting features. Though it was momentarily fun to descend through two steep drops within the slotted canyon on the existing iron rings, the trail eventually opened onto a relative flat plain within Wild Horse Canyon that is easy strolling. The vegetation within the Wild Horse Canyon is grazed by cattle, so there are significant components of non-native vegetation interspersed with native veg. I think the areas further north towards Mid Hills campground showcase relatively unspoiled habitat that better exemplify the regional ecology. Nevertheless, panoramic views and beautiful barrel cacti, cholla, and yucca abound along the trail. The weather was gusty, chilly (~40 deg F), grey and threatening rain, so I didn't explore as much as I had hoped to.