Monday, May 21, 2012

Santa Fe National Forest: Caja del Rio Canyon

Caja del Rio Canyon
Noelle, Parker and I awoke in Moriarty, ate breakfast, and then headed north to Santa Fe. Our destination was a canyon on an arroyo that drains into the Rio Grande called Caja del Rio or Diablo's Canyon. After a long drive on some dirt roads we arrived at the top of the canyon. Parker was excited to be hiking for the first time in a while and quickly hopped out of the car. Unfortunately his enthusiasm didn't last. It would be a hot, shadeless walk to the Rio Grande and back.

The hike started out with some great views of the impressive canyon.
Heading Towards the Caja del Rio Canyon
We soon entered the canyon where we were treated to a few areas of shade and a few wildflowers in bloom.
Yellow Flower
As we exited the canyon, shade would become difficult to find.
Looking Back at Canyon
Looking back after exiting the canyon.
Parker would plop down any time he could find the smallest sliver of respite from the hot sun.
Parker in the Shade
I was relieved to see a line of green cottonwoods on the horizon that I knew marked the location of the river.

As soon as we arrived at the Rio Grande, Parker waded in for a drink.
Parker Wades in the Rio Grande
Noelle and I took off our shoes and cooled our feet in the water and relaxed for a bit.
Noelle Cools Feet in Rio
Eric in the Rio Grande
After about 30 minutes we decided to make our way back to the car on a road that paralleled the arroyo. Storm clouds began to gather to the west, but we never got rained on.
Approaching Storm
Prickly Pear Cactus
We were all glad to be back to the car and I blasted the air conditioner as we headed up into the mountains and our campsite at Big Tesuque Campground.   
Resting at Big Tesuque

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