Monday, January 7, 2013

Guadalupe Mountains National Park: Nipple Hill

My 36th birthday. I spent the day with friends hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. I was talking to a friend at work and he mentioned a rock art site in the park that I had never heard of before. The area in which this rock art site is located happens to be near Nipple Hill which is another part of the park I've been wanting to explore for some time. And so, this morning Robby, Lee and I set out in Robby's car for Guadalupe Mountains National Park and the Frijole Ranch trailhead.

We arrived to find the road to Frijole Ranch closed and so we parked at the horse corral and hiked the road to the Smith Spring Trail.
Lee and Eric
We made fast time up to the spring and shortly after left the trail to find the rock art.
Approaching Rock Shelter
It was a steep climb, but eventually we found some rock shelters and the location of the pictographs.
Eric at Rock Shelter
The rock art was faded but interesting.
Pictographs
Pictographs
Pictographs
After a short time at the site, we headed back down to the trail and on to Manzanita Spring.
At Manzanita Spring
From the springs we backtracked a bit on the trail and then headed cross-country towards Nipple Hill.
Approaching Nipple Hill

The hill was less imposing than it had originally seemed and we made a quick ascent of it.
On Nipple Hill Summit
We spent some time surveying our surroundings from the top and then headed down towards highway 62/180.
Lee and Robby on Nipple Hill
Once we arrived close to the modern highway we found the old, abandoned road-bed and followed it back to Robby's car at the Frijole Ranch road.
Old Highway 62/180
It was a great way to spend a birthday!           

1 comment:

Pam and Wayne said...

Happy Belated Birthday...you've given me the idea to make sure I spend mine on the trail this year!