Little Cherry Creek

May 3, 2022

Little Cherry Creek Trail #241 doesn't appear on any of my maps, but we came across its junction with the CDT during our Twin Sisters hike. There is a lovely saddle at the junction, and on a warm May day, we decided to try approaching from NM 15.

wild strawberries

The trail starts at 7000', so it was almost cold starting out! Immediately we plunged into a lush riparian area where the ground was covered with wild strawberries.

Northern Bog Violet

Despite our very dry Spring, a tiny stream still trickles through the canyon. There we found an abundance of wildflowers, including these Northern Bog Violets.

Canada Violet

Canada Violet

Arizona Valerian

There were butterflies all over these Arizona Valerian, but they didn't want to be photographed!

Mountain Short-Horned Lizard

We came across a particularly big and beautiful Mountain Short-Horned Lizard sunning him/herself on a large rock.

Mountain Goldenbean

This plant has many different common names, including Mountain Goldenbean, False Lupin and Golden Pea.

Wooton's Ragwort

Wooton's Ragwort

After a brisk climb, the trail travels along a bench, where the forest floor is remarkably open, thanks to some apparent clearing by the Forest Service.

trail junction

There is a lovely saddle at the junction of Little Cherry Creek Trail, the CDT and Sawmill Wagon Road. I thought this trail would continue west to NM 15 via the old Sawmill Wagon Road, but that road has entirely disappeared, and the new trail follows the creek bed all the way to the saddle.

at the saddle

Relaxing at the saddle. This may be my new favorite local trail!