Wednesday, February 15, 2017

In Between Ridge- Sierra de las Uvas

Andrea, Seamus, Nessie and I did this little morning into afternoon hike on a sunny February Sunday. It was  a lollipop loop where we went around a little rocky ridge that sits between( and much lower down) Tailholt Mountain and a high mesa to the north. We parked and started out  about 1/2 mile off of the Corralitos Road. We walked along the dirt road  that heads north past Valles Tank. This road has been much improved as of late, the so even though we parked just before the first crossing of Valles Canyon,it is possible to drive most vehicles carefully down to the tanks about a mile north
Just past the tanks we picked up a good cow trail on east side of Valles and began walking uptream on the bank of a tributary canyon. We ate lunch under a juniper soon after.
Continuing upstream, our trail all but disappeared past where the two little arroyos become a bigger one at the base of the In Between Ridge. We went cross country now straight up the hill to investigate the boulders and cliffs on the spine of the ridge, and then continued on all the way to the little plateau at the top.
Here, the views opened up east to the Robledos and onto the Organ Mountains. At the edge of the cliffs, this spot had a wonderful "top of the world" feeling  that was achieved with only a minimum of effort.The wind picked up quite a bit as we looked around. It was a little annoying, but truth be told, the day would have been a bit too much on the warm side without it.

We headed down the opposite side, investigating  more cliffs,boulders and the top of the ridge.The views over canyons and mesas all the way to Big White Gap were impressive. Walking back on the road again we scoped out some places for camping along the way. I've often wanted to camp in the Sierra de las Uvas. There are certainly many attractive spots,  and perhaps now that the range is part of a national monument I'll feel more obligated to promote the area as a destination for tents, small trailers and maybe even a bit of backpacking.

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