Monday, May 28, 2012

Lincoln National Forest: Switchback Trail

This morning Noelle, Parker and I set out for the some relief from the hot desert air. We drove up into the mountains outside of Cloudcroft. We even caught a hitchhiker on our way.
The cicada that caught a ride with us.
Originally I had planned to hike to Bridal Veil Falls. Having never been there before I was a bit disappointed when we arrived at the trailhead to discover how low, hot and lacking shade the trail was. Parker would not enjoy such a hot hike, so instead we opted to hike the Switchback Trail since we had seen a sign for it on our way.
Switchbacks Trail

Switching hikes turned out to be a good thing. Parker would have died of heat stroke had we taken him on the Salado Canyon Trail. Even our hike at the much higher elevations of the Switchback Trail was a struggle for Parker with his thick, black fur. Still, we made the best of the situation by hiking slow and taking plenty of breaks in the shade. The Switchback Trail, like many of the other trails in the Cloudcroft area, follows abandoned railroad grades. It was a mostly level hike. Eventually, we made our way down and crossed highway US-82 on a neat little pedestrian bridge.
US 82 & Ped Bridge
Crossing on Pedestrian Bridge

After crossing the highway, our hike was mostly uphill. We stopped several times to rest in the shade.
Parker at Rest
Soon, we would again pass to the other side of US-82. This time we would follow a tunnel under the highway.
Eric hikes to Tunnel
Pregnant Noelle Silhouette
Shortly after passing through the tunnel we were back to the trailhead and our car in Bailey Canyon.
Switchback Trailhead
From there we drove through Cloudcroft and up to the Saddle Campground where we found a site for the night. We even had a nice little campfire, something we don't do too often.
Enjoying the Campfire

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