Steve, Chris, Lorna, and I had planned to hike up Wheeler Peak (the highest spot in New Mexico) 2 days before the end of our trip. Unfortunately, the weather changed and thunderstorms were in the forecast. We could have maybe stood being wet, but not being fried by lightening. Instead, Steve and I hiked the Pioneer trail in Red River.
Pioneer Trail – Easy – 3 miles one way: Next to the Ski Area, this trail built by miners in the gold rush days, begins where Pioneer Road ends. You just might find an old claim as you explore this one.
OK. This is another one of those trails that is all uphill until you’ve had enough and turn around. Who decides what an easy trail is in New Mexico? But it was pretty, and it didn’t rain.
But it had rained the night before. The farther we went, the more water we found. There were 4 places where we either had to wade across or find another route.
In all cases, we opted to go around. Others had gone before us so it was easy to find a way across the streams and get back to the path.
People in 4-wheelers passed us going and coming.
The farther we went, the wetter the path got until it was more stream than path.
We gave up 3 1/2 miles in. Downhill was going to be hard without poles so Steve pulled out his trusty Swiss Army knife and cut us each one. I was both impressed and thankful.
It was a very nice hike and we were happy to have done it, but sorry to not have hiked Wheeler Peak. More on that next post.
Easy is a relative term!
I visited New Mexico last year and loved it! Enjoy your hikes!
Maybe pack a kayak next time?
Sounds like lots of fun.
My husband and I were hiking in Cloudcroft, NM on July 22. I agree with you about what is easy. The trail we were on was the one they took the elementary kids on said the clerk at the front desk. It was only 2.25 miles if you don’t take a wrong turn. Well, we took a wrong turn and it ended up being 4 miles with the last 1/2 mile going straight up. And we got caught in a rainstorm as we were heading back. Luckily, I bought a can of oxygen I kept seeing in all the hiking shops. It was a lifesaver. I plan to go back and challenge the mountain again, and maybe try Wheeler Peak when the high altitude takes my sanity. (Just kidding) But I have found my new love and plan to go as often as I can. Happy Hiking!
Yes, the canned O2 is very nice :-). I liked the peppermint scent, but then it’s the only one we tried.