Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Dragonfly Loop Trail( FT 720)- Gila National Forest
On Sunday morning after eating at Diane's on Silver City's Bullard Street. We returned to the Dragonfly Trailhead. This time to do the Dragonfly Loop itself. There were several vehicles already in the parking lot, and we though it best to let a group on horseback get a good head start before setting out, still we only met maybe 10 or so people over a little more than two hours, which both my wife and I thought was great for a trail so close to the city. It may be much busier at another time,but we were walking with no one else in sight for most of the hike.
The trail is initially over gentle pinon- juniper grassland terrain and heads in northeasterly direction. Eventually we headed down hill where the trail turns back toward the south and begins to follow Twin Sisters Creek. This was the nicest part of the walk. The creek flowed in a healthy riparian zone no longer subject to grazing. Large cottonwoods were beginning to bud out. Cress grew along the water's edge. The stream, at times, flowed over smooth bedrock slides into pools close to a foot deep.
As the channel narrowed between cliffs of orange rhyolite porphyry banded with a grayish layers( also volcanic) we arrived at the where the petroglyphs dwell. After photographing the dragonfly, we looked around the low cliffs and boulders and found a few more. There wasn't a lot, but we weren't being at all thorough, which is nice sometimes, because it leaves one with the feeling of wanting to return.
We continued walking,crossing the creek, which eventually dried out, a couple of times. The trail eventually took us back up out of the creek bottom to a little promontory overlooking some huge cottonwoods, where we took in views of Black Peak, the Twin Sisters and Humboldt Mountain. Everyone we met was happy to be out( as were we) on this glorious spring morning underneath the blue sky, white clouds and warm sun. And even though it was March, the wind was only minor factor, never blowing hard or long enough to distract us from our enjoyment of this lovely place.