Sunday, September 29, 2013

Spring Canyon- Robledo Mountains

 I tried to visit this canyon once before but was put off by some less than safety conscious individuals shooting off the Box Canyon Dam. This time there was no one there. I parked on the dam and admired the substantial lake that had built up behind it, caused by the recent late summer rains. I started hiking north, up through a gap between two hills and then down a rough trail to an open( and green!) valley. I then proceeded northwest,climbed a low ridge and knew I had found Spring Canyon and it's water by the abundant greenery in the arroyo and from the lingering cattle. In a short distance, I came upon the muddy,gray spring which was supplying a trickle of water to one of three,small circular concrete tanks. It wasn't exactly a scenic spot, but it was interesting to see a spring of any kind in the very dry Robledos. I continued upstream and the canyon walls boxed in. They were shades of rust and pale yellow and perhaps 50 to 75 feet high-very pleasantly scenic. There was a trickle of water flowing through the sand as I made my way further up the canyon, climbing through  a jumble of huge, red conglomerate boulders.  A small pour-off with a muddy pool  was easily gone around and as I forced my through some salt cedar branches in a very narrow part of the canyon, I came upon the hide and bones of  a cow. There are a few old, large junipers in the canyon as well, and in one was a great horned owl- who flew off, just as I was getting ready to snap it's picture.
      Eventually the canyon got shallow and topped out. I walked across the mesa to the next canyon to the north, where there was an amazing abundance of wildflowers. In fact, everything was wonderfully green, especially the octotillos which were fat with  a new growth of leaves. Along the way,there were birds flitting about, tracks in the sand(left by a skunk I think) and a some very interesting looking green rock which I'm sure caught the eye of some prospector way back when. I worked my way back to the mesa directly above Spring Canyon, so I could get some photos looking down into the canyon. Then I walked back to the mouth of the box and followed an old road back to Box Canyon Dam. Back  at the dam I picked up some trash left behind by some thoughtful firearms enthusiasts and then drove home.

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