Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lincoln National Forest: Turkey Canyon

This morning Noelle, Parker and I packed a daypack and some water and hit the road headed for the nearby Guadalupe Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest. It was an interesting drive on the Dark Canyon Road and State Highway 137. Soon we found ourselves entering the forest boundary. We parked at Red Lake and hit the trail which is really just a rough road. We were not the only ones enjoying the beautiful November weather, there were some hunters out looking for deer.

As we hiked further on the road we soon came to some nice views overlooking our destination of Turkey Canyon.
Above Turkey Canyon

We descended into the canyon itself
Walking Turkey Canyon

and were greeted by some cowboys herding their cattle through the canyon.

It was an interesting experience to see things being done the old fashioned way! As we made our way further down canyon we walked through lots of trees.
Oak Tree

There were junipers, oaks, a madrone, some maples, and some tall ponderosa pines. We didn't see much in the way of wildlife other than birds. The birds that we saw were quite interesting though. We saw some bluebirds, scrub jays and even some acorn woodpeckers!
Acorn Woodpecker

The walk through the canyon was pleasant, but we were starting to get a bit tired just when we reached Turkey Canyon's intersection with Horse Canyon. I had heard from a friend at work that there were some interesting pictographs to be found a the intersection of the two canyons. We saw a rock shelter nearby and went over to check it out. While we didn't find any pictographs there, it was an interesting place to relax and eat a snack.

I decided to go look around to see if I could find the pictographs when I ran into the cowboys again. One of them told me where we could find the rock art and so I returned to Noelle and we went to find the pictographs.

They were in an interesting section of Turkey Canyon that had a thick forest of oak and juniper. The pictographs were faint but very interesting.
Eric and Pictographs

Animal Pictographs

Cicle and hand Pictographs

We spent a few minutes looking at them and then started to make our way up canyon and back to the car.
Hiking Turkey Canyon

No comments: