Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lincoln National Forest: Devil's Den

I just had to get outside to do some hiking today. We got up somewhat early this morning and hit the road so we could make the most of our limited winter sunlight. We drove up Dark Canyon Road and into the Guadalupe Ranger District of Lincoln National Forest. We headed past Queen and then turned onto the Guadalupe Ridge Road. We passed several overlooks including the Five Points Vista before we finally parked the car at the end of the gravel.
Five Points Vista

We hit the "trail" which was really a rough, muddy road.
Hiking Muddy Road

There was a lot of snow still up in the high elevations, especially in the shade. Eventually we turned onto another muddy road, then another, before we finally found ourselves on a real trail.
Devil's Den Trail Sign

The trail steeply descended and soon the snow got quite deep. It was tough work trudging through all the snow.
Trudging Through Snow

We soon came to the ruins of an old cabin
Eric and Cabin Ruins
and then the trail got really rough and steeply descended into Devil's Den Canyon itself.

The canyon was quite interesting as there were some sheer canyon walls.
Devil's Den Canyon Wall

There was some deep snow in portions and the combination of snow and large boulders made the going slow. We took a short lunch break deep in the canyon before continuing on. However, shortly after our break the going got too rough for Parker and we turned around and retraced our steps up out of the canyon. I checked out Devil's Den Spring
Devil's Den Spring
then stepped a bit off the trail for a nice overlook of the canyon system and then we headed back through the mud and snow to the car.
Devil's Den Overlook

1 comment:

Devin Brown said...

This was an interesting read. I am planning a hike from Carlsbad to Guadalupe Mountains national Park along the Guadalupe Ridge Trail. I noticed this is a potential water source on the path. I'm wondering if a place like this would be likely to have water year-round.