In my last post (see 9/15/13) I was describing the first part of a delightful hike we took in Manzanita Canyon in the Southern Rocky Mountains one hot summer Saturday. After we have been hiking for just over two hours, we reach a ridge line that feels as if it should be our connecting point for the Lobo Creek Trail that runs along the ridge of the Canyons. We find no sign, but enjoy hiking along the ridge for another ten minutes or so, when Terry spots the sign down a slight incline. We hike down to the sign, then continue along the Lobo Peak Trail, eager to summit Lobo Peak as the skies, while now a bit cloudy, still are mostly clear.
We also appear to have entered yet another climate zone (our third since the start of this hike) as we are near tree line and the vegetation is more tundra like; tiny fragile flowers and grasses growing close to the ground to be protected from the harsher elements of the higher elevation climate.
The views at this elevation are spectacular. We spot Lobo Peak from our hike along the ridge line and take several shots of the 360 degree mountain views that are breathtaking. We hike on to the Lobo summit, thoroughly enjoying the experience and this beautiful day. We reach the summit for the second time this year, in two hours and 44 minutes.
After taking a few photos, we head back down, eager to re-experience the trail we had so enjoyed ascending. While it is often more challenging hiking down a canyon or mountain trail as your quadriceps can get quite a workout and you have to hope your shoes have good grip, we find this trail challenging but very manageable; quite a different experience than the Yerba Canyon Trail last weekend. We hike back through the dense forest, the eleven stream crossings, the pine forest and the lush rainforest, reaching the trailhead in just under five hours. We load Molly and our hiking poles (a great help, especially on steeper terrain) into the car and head up to the Taos Ski Valley to take in some Saturday afternoon music under the sun.
However, just as we hit the road, the skies open up and a downpour begins. We continue on, as often the afternoon rains cease after about 20 minutes and the sun reappears. We wait a few minutes in the parking lot of the Ski Valley Resort. As we waited, the rains continued to pound our car, more reminiscent of hail than water, the skies stayed dark and thunder and lightning soon began. Sadly, we headed back down Ski Valley Road. We will have to wait for another day to partake of the music and the sunshine.
To find that perfect campsite for your visit to New Mexico, browse Woodall’s listings of New Mexico camping.