Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Florida Mountains Wilderness Study Area - Victorio Canyon

Gym Peak

Barrel cactus and poppies

Baldy Peak upper right

View east to the West Potrillos. Ranchette grid pattern is seen in the middle distance.

At the saddle between two Victorio Canyon tributaries

Three Little Hills area

I had intended to visit the Victorio Canyon area back around Thanksgiving (2022) but a serious washout on the Gap Road had me backtracking to do the hike to the Bradley Mines and beyond. Well, this time I was able to get through but let me just say, the road is not good and it only got worse the farther south I went on it. Count on an hour once leaving the pavement past Rockhound SP if you intend to visit this area.

 I had originally thought about doing a hike on the southwest side of the range, but with high winds predicted for the early afternoon, I thought a hike on east side would give me more time before they arrived in force from the southwest. The steep wall of the main ridge of the range acting like a massive buffer. I was definitely right about that, although when I first got out of the  truck a few strong, random gusts had me thinking I had gotten the whole thing wrong.

 Anyway, I set out cross country through the poppies and the weeds until I picked up the road (which parallels Victorio Canyon) and then walked briskly along it until leaving off to go cross country again when it took a turn to the north to a corral area. Oddly enough there were couple trucks there that I could see in the distance. They didn't seem to be camping, so perhaps they were hunters out scouting around.

Shortly, I was all the way back at the hidden tributary canyon whose western slope was covered in piñon and juniper. I trucked along, sometimes in the stream bed, sometimes along side it, admiring the surround of cliffs and peaks as I climbed higher. 

Eventually, I climbed back to the east to a saddle well below the towering Gym Peak. I lingered on the saddle a bit, it was such a nice area with tall grasses and beautiful views, but finally I made my way very roughly down into the next canyon over from the one I ascended. From  where it bottomed out, it was an easy push back to the truck, with the long bone jarring ride awaiting me.

 To break up the monotony a bit, I stopped at several intervals to take photos of this years abundant poppy bloom, which definitely helped promote the overall positive feeling I took away from this trip.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home