The Rings Loop Hike is a one-mile hike located near the Hole-In-The-Wall Visitors Center and Campground in the Mojave National Preserve.
The Preserve is located in southeastern California on the border with Nevada's southern tip between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. It contains 1.6 million acres of protected land and varying landscapes.
This hike is a short, popular hike for anyone that gets off the pavement enough to check out the Hole-In-The-Wall area of the park. The rings in the walls of the short slot canyon section provide the hike with its name.
We were camped in the beautiful, quiet Hole-In-The-Wall Campground, and we woke up to a lovely sunrise.
Around 9:00 a.m., we started out for our hike. Near the entrance to the camping loops is the short Nature Trail which we took toward the Visitors Center ....
which sits beneath a rock landmark.
The Rings Loop Trailhead is in the front parking lot and it's recommended to start there and do the loop clockwise.
It was a weird morning as the sun was muted by a thin cloud layer, more like a haze. Blue sky appeared occasionally as we walked around the small mountain, but it wasn't the bright blue we had become used to.
Some early morning bird songs were very pretty, and we got a nice look at a Rock Wren.
The Black-tailed Jackrabbits appeared often, but they were shy about being photographed. We got a partial view of one.
We came upon a sign about "Cultural Signs of the Past" and the boulders near the trail had some petroglyphs.
Continuing on around, we went passed through one of the fences - there are free range cows and sheep in the Preserve.
The scenery was hard to beat on the backside of the mountain.
Linda checked all the holes in the rocks for raven and raptor nests.
At this intersection, we continued right into Banshee Canyon. A left puts you on the eight-mile trail to the Mid Hills Campground.
Getting ready to enter the Banshee slot canyon.
The slot is on the left side in the photos above. Linda entered first to add some perspective.
Compared to other slot canyons we've been in, this one is really short. But, it has these rings to help you climb giving it a unique feature that provides the trail its name.
I went first using the rings as handholds and using the ring supports as steps. They were quite solid.
Once I was up this first section, Linda was ready below.
She made it just fine. I had to give her a hand at the top, and I'm not sure she would have made it by herself, but we managed.
Here is the next set of rings.
This section was a little bit trickier. Both sets could have used one more ring at the top.
That was it for the rings, but we still had another scramble through the rocks.
Soon, we were out of the canyon and in the picnic area behind the Visitors Center. This shot is looking back to where we just came from.
The signs would seem to indicate you can start the Rings Loop here, and you can, but it's easier to do the loop clockwise and use the rings coming up rather than going down.
That was a fun, scenic little hike. It's popular for good reason.