This Monday we headed in the opposite direction from last week’s destination. South on I-25 past Belen to the Bernardo exit, east for about 25 miles to Forest Road 422, then north to the Pine Shadow trail in the Manzano Mountains.
Yesterday’s hike was a long, strenuous one! 11 miles round trip, we made it all the way to the top of Manzano peak. Manzano peak is at an elevation of 10,098 feet with a panoramic view in all directions. The trail climbs about 3,000 feet at a pretty consistent, moderate slope with some almost level areas towards the top.
One of the things I really like about this trail is that you don’t have to go very far to get an awesome view.
Osa had no intention of posing for pics, she was having way too much fun running up and down the hills. Every time I was able to get her near enough to take her picture, she turned away and ran off after another lizard, rabbit or squirrel. There were no cactus thorns to slow her down this time!
This trail had some areas burned by the forest fires last year, but it’s obvious a year later that fire can be a good thing. The forest floor is already coming back to life and even the tops of some of the trees still had life in them. Much of the brush had been burned away, revealing gorgeous geology, lots of quartzite and slate in a rainbow of colors; green, pink, white, black, red, blue, and yellow.
Although the high temps were in the 70s yesterday, by the time we got to the top, the wind chill made it feel more like the 40s. Good thing we brought our sweatshirts, hats and gloves!
Made it to the top in just under 3 hours!