Monday, January 21, 2013

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge: Chupadera Peak

I woke up early this morning for a solo adventure. I left Noelle, Sierra, and Parker in the hotel room and headed down to the wildlife refuge again for a 9.5 mile hike up Chupadera Peak. I was in the refuge early enough to see some cranes and geese hanging out by the two ponds near the north entrance.
Sunrise and Birds photo cranesgeesemountains_zps0649406a.jpg
After watching the pink rays of the sun illuminate the mountains to the west, I decided it was time to move on to the trailhead and start my hike.

The hike began with a stroll through the shrubby desert lowlands. If it weren't for the many cairns the trail would have been easy to lose amongst the creosote bush.
Cairn photo cairn_zpsa0bb82cf.jpg 
Slowly, but surely I started to gain some elevation and then crossed under I-25 in a tunnel.
I-25 Underpass photo inunderpass_zpsb3e99b38.jpg
On the other side of the interstate I entered the Chupadera Wilderness and the ascent got a bit steeper.
Entering the Wilderness photo wildenessthreshold_zps68fc399f.jpg
Approaching the Mountains photo deserttrail_zps11b019a2.jpg
Soon a canyon came into view and the trail turned in the canyon's direction.
Approaching the Canyon photo hikingtowardscanyon_zps47956690.jpg
The canyon turned out to be interesting and as the trail exited it, the climbing got a bit more difficult.
Canyon photo atcanyonmouth_zps941311bd.jpg
I steeply made my way up the mountain slopes, crossed a fence using a stile, and then stood on the mighty summit of Chupadera Peak.
Chupadera Peak Benchmark photo benchmark_zps145cb928.jpg

There was a cold wind, but I found a sheltered area just of the summit and ate a snack and drank some water.
Resting Near the Summit photo nearsummit_zpsedc547c3.jpg
The views from the lofty perch was splendid. I admired it for a bit and then started to make my descent.
View From Summit photo viewfromsummit_zpscd2b4edb.jpg
The climb had taken just over an hour and a half, the descent would go even more quickly. before I knew it I was back to my car.

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