Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Glorieta Mesa ( NM 34, FR 124 ) - Santa Fe National Forest

After visiting the Pecos National Historic Park, we headed south on NM 63 and then got on NM 34 in Rowe. This road( also know as FR 124) took us up onto Glorieta Mesa more than  a thousand feet above the river valley. The snakeweed was abundantly blooming, while tall brown eyed susans lined the roadway. The forest here is mainly piñon-juniper stands separated widely by grasslands. There are a few ponderosa pine scattered about on the flatlands, but they mostly grow in the more moist environment  of the ravines and canyons.
There are no official hiking trails in this section of the forest. The main uses appear to be fuel wood cutting, grazing and hunting. There are however, many primitive roads which can provide a quiet walk away from any crowds. We got out and walked on one for round trip hike of about 2 miles. Without much shade or running water  to get in, it was about all my little black dogs could manage.

NM 34 ( FR 124) started off as paved, but then became a mixture of pavement and gravel and ultimately gravel only. It is a well maintained and drivable by almost any vehicle. The wildflowers and green grass made this drive a scenic one on a late summer day, but I could imagine it looking quite desolate in other seasons.  Eventually,the road brought us down the more gentle west side of the mesa into the Galisteo Basin and to US 285, where we headed back to NM 41 and then on to Galisteo. Both of these highways are scenic routes unto themselves. Traveling through the rolling grasslands, crossing steep arroyos and volcanic dikes, I kept wishing to catch a glimpse of one of the many ancient pueblo ruins that are found all around the region

1 comment:

Kirigalpoththa said...

Lovely place for hiking!!