Tuesday, March 27, 2012

North Anthony's Nose

After my hike up Ranger Peak, I headed through El Paso to get to the interstate. Along the way I stopped at 7-11 to get some Gatorade and then moved north to the town of Anthony which lies in both Texas and New Mexico. From there I headed east on NM highway 404 to Anthony Gap. The plan was to hike up Anthony's Nose. The information I got at Summitpost was quite vague though, and I couldn't figure out where the trailhead was. Instead I focused my attention on finding the trailhead for North Anthony's Nose. I had a tough time finding it at first on account of the fact that I was unsure of my mileage from I-10. I drove my car on some rough dirt roads. just when I was getting ready to throw in the towel, I saw a white gate off to the side of the highway. I decided to give the gate a try and sure enough I found a brown BLM trail sign.
Sierra Vista Trail

I closed the gate behind me and drove as far as I felt comfortable. Then I packed my pack, refilled my water bottles and hit the Sierra Vista Trail, an old road on the east side of the Franklin Mountains. It was hot in the afternoon sun, but I was determined to make a go of it. Soon I had great views north to one of my favorite mountain ranges, the Organ Mountains.
Distant Organ Mountains
There were lots of yuccas in bloom
Yucca Flower
and some claret cup cactus as well.
Cactus Blooms
Soon I found a faint road heading up a small canyon near my objective, North Anthony's Nose.
North Anthony's Nose
I followed the road until it turned into a faint trail. I then followed the trail further and further up the canyon.

When the canyon split I took the left side and then started my way up a ridge. Before I knew it I had wonderful views in all directions. To the south were the highest points of the Franklin Mountains,
Looking North From Summit
to the north the Organs. I soon found myself on the rocky summit. There was a small cairn with a register inside it. I signed the register and looked through it. One of the more recent entries was a message of condolences to Whitney Houston.
Summit Register
After signing the register I relaxed on the summit for a long while before finally heading back down to the car.
North Anthony's Nose Summit
On my way down I found some nice fossils in the limestone including some crinoids
Crinoid Fossils
 and a brachiopod.

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