A blog about exploring the natural areas of New Mexico focusing on but not limited to Dona Ana, Luna, Otero, Sierra, Grant, Lincoln,Socorro and Catron counties.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Carbonate Creek-Gila National Forest
I have camped on Carbonate Creek many times,but this time we were just going for dayhike. I was born and raised in Connecticut and when Fall rolls around, I start to get antsy to get out in the forest and see some color.There are maples on the east side of the Black Range, and on the west side the aspens can be spectacular. I opted for the maples this year, mainly because to really get a good look at the aspens involves either a long drive on a rotten road,or a very long day hike. The maples (as well as colorful oaks ) can be seen from NM 152 (Emory Pass road), but it's more fun to get back in one of the canyons and see them up close. They may not be as dense or widespread as the ones in the Manzanos, but there are definitely no crowds to deal with, if you want to go see them. We had to hike about 4 or so miles back in to find a lovely grove of old trees, but the first ones can be seen about 2 miles from where the Carbonate Creek road meets Forest Road 157. IMPORTANT UPDATE: this hike is within the Silver Fire burn area. I can only hope the maples have somehow survived.UPDATE( March,2016)- Many of the maples have been burned,but many are growing back from the roots. Others survived relatively intact,but a few seemed to have been uprooted and washed downstream in the flooding.