Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pine Tree Loop Trail

Got up to another beautiful Organ Mountains morning! We ate breakfast and drank hot beverages before taking a family photo with the beautiful mountains in the background.
Family Photo

Then it was time to do some hiking. We started the 4.5 mile Pine Tree Loop as the sun warmed the air.

Organs and Juniper

It was the third time I've hiked the Pine Tree Loop, although the last time was over 6 years ago. The views were just as spectacular as I remembered.
Rabbit Ears and Juniper

Eric and Parker Hike the Organs

Noelle Parker and Organ Mountains

Most of the beginning of the hike was an ascent. There were some burned areas and some area where the vegetation had been cut down, perhaps invasive species removal. Eventually we made our way up to a high ridge
Lone Pine

and then back down through some dry washes to our campsite.
Organ Mountains Campsite

We packed up camp and made our way back to the highway. Along the way we saw a large rattlesnake sunning itself on the road.
Rattler on the Road

It was a long drive back to Carlsbad. We stopped in Cloudcroft for a late lunch and to pick up a permit for a Christmas tree. We'll be headed back in a few weeks to cut it down.