Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lincoln National Forest: Carrizo Peak

Early this morning I hit the road headed northwest through Roswell and into the Smokey Bear District of Lincoln National Forest for a hike of Carrizo Peak. I made it to the turn off for County Road A010, otherwise known as the Bar-O-Bar Ranch Road by 10 am. I passed the impressive ranch grounds and soon was into the National Forest. The road got considerably rougher as I crossed the forest boundary. Soon, I decided I could take the Subaru no further and so I parked at a grassy, pleasant campsite and continued on foot.

It wasn't much further on the road before I came to the trailhead for the Johnnie Canyon Trail.
Trailhead
I turned left and soon found myself in a maze of gullies and use trails. I was bit worried I might not be following the true path, but eventually the trail got more defined and headed into thicker woods. The trail definitely does not get much use. I would guess that, judging from the copious piles of bear scat, the trail gets more ursine use than human.
Bear Scat
There were some flowers along the side of the trail and in one bunch flowers there were lots of reddish insects.
Flowers
Red Flower
Pollinators
I'm not sure what they are, a fly or a bee of some type?

Soon I came to a small meadow and rock cairn. I guessed that this was the trail junction where I would leave the trail I'd been following for a while and take the Carrizo Peak Trail. There was no sign to mark the junction, but my instincts turned out to be right. The trail started to climb steeply and there were lots of downed trees across the trail. The going was pretty slow. I approached a meadow and followed the meadow up to the summit ridge. On the ridge I tagged the first of the two summits. This one was marked with a cairn inside which a summit register was hidden. I signed the register and posed for a photo and then went off to the second summit.
Carrizo Peak Summit

The second summit seems to me to be a bit lower than the first one I tagged. It, however, is marked with an official wooden sign.
Carrizo Peak False Summit
I snapped a photo of it and then headed down to some shade to rest and eat a snack.
After about 45 minutes it was time to head down. The hike down went fast and before I knew it I was back to the car.  

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