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, October 15, 2012
Cerrillos Hills State Park
I visited here a few years ago when it was still under BLM and Santa Fe County jurisdiction, now it's one of our New Mexico State Parks. This park is northwest of the tiny town of Cerrillos, NM( filming location for Young Guns- one of my faves). It is maybe a twenty minute drive from Santa Fe on NM 14( the Turquoise Trail) and is easy to find if you follow the signs. There is a day use fee and you can self-pay at the parking area. There are many old roads to wander around on amongst the steep,but low hills. We took one called the J.C. Sanchez Trail. It follows an old road up hills,past some old mines( not turquoise mines though it never actually said on any of the interpretive signs what had been mined), through an arroyo,up some more and then finally wound down to the main arroyo, which also contains the main drivable road through the park, which we followed back to our car. All in all a little less than 2 miles of walking. This hills are vegetated with short grasses and juniper.Views of Turquoise Mountain could be had at the high point of our hike. In the main arroyo there was a spring where cottonwoods grew. This was a nice place for a short walk or ride. There is no camping.