The Great Northern New Mexico Loop
July 19, 2021
Heron Lake to Hopewell Lake
East of Heron Lake on US 64, we began climbing into the high and rolling hills at the southern end of the Rocky Mountains. Here streams plunge energetically through canyons so densely forested that the rock walls are barely visible, and alpine meadows stretch for miles awash in summer wildflowers.
We stopped for lunch at a scenic overlook at 10,500 feet. With a whiff of internet, we checked the website for Hopewell Lake, but all the sites were booked. Instead, we found a lovely spot off a nearby forest road, a stone's throw from the Continental Divide Trail.
That afternoon we enjoyed a five-mile loop combining the CDT and an old forest road, through a towering pine and aspen forest.
The monsoon rains brought out an extraordinary variety of summer wildflowers, including this lovely Gunnison's Mariposa Lily.
Yellow Toadflax. In Vermont, we called it "Butter and Eggs".
Yellow Velvet Beetle on Yarrow
An exceptionally large and lovely horned lizard. Terry J has ID'd it as a Mountain Short-Horned Lizard.
Happy hikers in the rain.
Even Elio managed a short hike!Previous Next