Sunday, September 11, 2011

Carson National Forest: Lobo Peak Loop Hike

Mountain View

Last evening after work I hit the road and headed for northern New Mexico. While I’ve lived in New Mexico before, having worked three previous seasons at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, I’ve never been in New Mexico in the summer when the high northern mountains are safe and accessible for someone like me (without technical mountaineering skills) to climb them.

I woke up this morning at a small and free campground along the road to Taos Ski Valley, ready to hit the trail and get above treeline for the first time since the summer of 2009. I parked the car at Manzanita Canyon and started to make my way higher in elevation. It was a pleasantly cool morning with some fog and low clouds in that air. The scene with the cool weather, cascading stream
Cascading Creek

and pine/spruce forests reminded me of my old northern Minnesota home.    

Lobo Fog
When I first viewed Lobo Peak, my destination for the hike, she was bathed in fog.
The hiking was steep and difficult, especially as I ascended the last section of trail above treeline.
Lobo Peak

Eric on Lobo Peak

I took a nice little nap at the summit
Lobo Peak Nap

and then started to make my way down off the mountain via Italianos Canyon. Because of the canyon's name I got that stupid song "Mambo Italiano" in my head. It was quite annoying! Finally I reached the road and after a short road walk
Road Walk

I was back to my car. It was an excellent first hike in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico. 

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