Monday, August 1, 2011
La Junta Canyon-Carson National Forest
We drove to Taos and arrived just in time for the Monday lunchtime traffic jam. I looked around at an overpriced fly shop and then we ate lunch at the good New Mexican restaurant next door.It's called Ricky's and I recommend it. After that we hightailed it out of there. Maybe we'll do Taos another time when it's less crowded.We drove up NM 518 along the Rio Pueblo,checking out the roadside campgrounds and viewing the damage done by a very recent fire. We then headed up Forest Road 76 to La Junta and Duran Canyons. This is an extensive camping area in a beautiful meadow area of the Rito la Presa. There are a few campfire rings,tables and pit toilets.There may be water from a hand pump as well. There is a camping fee of 10 dollars and a day use fee of five.The campground in this and nearby areas are run by a private company and seem to be in pretty good shape despite the fact that they are very popular. I don't particularly like the idea of turning over the management of public lands to private companies but if it keeps places from being trashed by irresponsible people,it's hard to be totally against it. I fished for about an hour in the Rito, but only managed one ten inch brown. There are fish in these creeks but they're not crowded with them. I suspect this area gets fished pretty hard every weekend during the summer,but on a Monday afternoon we had the place to ourselves.