Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lincoln National Forest: Lonesome Ridge

Noelle gave me permission to go on another solo adventure today and so I headed up into the Guadalupes. I wanted to go back to Lonesome Ridge. I had hiked Lonesome Ridge years back. One day after work I packed up Noelle's Subaru with my camping and hiking gear and headed up Dark Canyon Road and the Queen Highway to the end of Forest Road 540. Unfortunately, as I made the drive up there I started to feel sick. It was my pericarditis returning to bother me once again. Still after sleeping in the car for the night I decided I didn't want to turn around and head back home without hiking and so I set out to hike Lonesome Ridge despite my illness. I remember the hike being torturous. I felt horrible and didn't take the time to take any photos or even look around at my surroundings. I would return today to experience all that I had missed out on during my last visit.

After the long drive up to the end of Forest Road 540 I set out on the Guadalupe Ridge Trail.
Trail Sign
The 3 miles along the ridge were not really all that interesting. I found a cairned trail leading down into a canyon and followed it for a bit.
Road and Cairn
I thought that it might lead to a cave or some other interesting feature but it just went on and on and I didn't feel like straying from my original itinerary and so I backtracked to the the Guad Ridge. Eventually I made my way to the Lonesome Ridge Trail which is at first an old road. The road followed a fence for a bit,
Hiking Road
then passed through the fence at a gate. After passing through the gate the views started to open up down into Big Canyon.
Big Canyon Overlook
Then the road ended and I followed an overgrown trail.

I should have brought the bottoms to my zip-offs because my shins were getting shredded on the oaks and other shrubs. The trail passed a few overlooks
Eric at Overlook
and alternately ascended and descended along Lonesome Ridge. Soon the trail came to a steep drop-off. I decided the drop-off must be the start of the Golden Staircase Trail and so I decided to turn around at this point and retrace my steps. Along the way I saw some flowers
Yellow Flower
Succulent Flower
Shaggy Portulaca
Purple Flowers
as well as some wildlife including a really interesting green beetle
Green Beetle
and tiny horned lizard.
Horned Lizard

1 comment:

gumo said...

Nice trip. Very green mountains that must have enjoyed some good rains. Happy trails.