Sunday, March 25, 2012

Valley of Fires

We camped at the BLM's Valley of Fires campground for the first time this week.The campground is in two sections. One,where we camped, atop a sandstone kipuka with views across the lava flow toward Chupadera Mesa in the west and to Nogal Peak and Carrizo Mountain to the east,is for trailers or tents with water and electric at most sites.The other, down in a hollow right up next to the 10 -15 foot walls of the lava flow itself is more cozy and rustic but is for tent campers only.We walked the paved nature trail a couple of times,changing directions on the loop. We also walked the grounds and climbed the little hill twice.The wind was little strong our first day,but cooperated the rest of our stay.You really can't beat this place for convenience. The small town of Carrizozo is nearby with a few gas stations, a couple of restaurants, a small grocery store and even a golf course. More importantly, this campground can serve as a base for exploring the Sacramento Mountains and the Capitan Mountains and their wilderness areas. It seems like the perfect place for camping at those in between times of the year,like now, and yet there was never more than seven campsites occupied during the days we were there.The stars were spectacular every night.The sunrise over Carrizo Peak and sunset over the distant Oscura Range opened and closed each peaceful day beautifully.

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