West Texas Trail Walkers to hike Guadalupe Mts. October 6-8, 2017

GUADALUPE RIDGE TRAIL (GRT) is a newly designated trail system which winds through two national parks, a national forest and the desert landscape of BLM encompassing over 100 miles. It includes Guadalupe National Park, Sitting Bull Falls in Lincoln National Forest and continues through the rugged backcountry to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Join us this year as we hike the highlights of this newly designated trail system.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6th, 2017
SITTING BULL FALLS
Distance:  5k (out & back) or 14k (loop)
Rated: 2D (rugged; elevation gain: 1,000′)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7th, 2017
GUADALUPE PEAK (top of Texas)
Distance: 17k (out & back)
Rated: 4E (strenuous; elevation gain: 3,000′)

Alternate Saturday Event
SMITH SPRINGS
Distance:  5k or 10k
Rated 2C (easy to moderate; elevation gain: 400′) i
SUNDAY OCTOBER 8th, 2017
OLD GUANO TRAIL/CARLSBAD CAVERNS
Distances: 5k, 7k, 14k and up to 20k options
Rated: 2C (moderate; gradual 700′ elevation gain)

You can join this walking club for these day hikes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  These are called Volksmarches.  There will be people on the trail to make sure you don’t get lost.  You have to register at the start and carry a “start card” with you.

You turn the card in when you finish.  That way they know when everyone is in off the trail and no one is “lost”.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a remote, rugged wilderness park located in far West Texas on U.S. Highway 62/180, between El Paso, Texas and Carlsbad, New Mexico. There are no restaurants, service stations, or overnight lodging (except camping) available in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The closest location for ice, groceries, showers, and lodging is 35 miles northeast in Whites City, NM. Gasoline is also available there. Consider the park’s remote location and plan your trip wisely.

Click on blue link to visit the West Texas Trail Walkers Website for event registration information.

West Texas Trail Walkers to hike Big Bend Oct 7-9, 2016

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Always wanted to hike Big Bend but was afraid to go solo?  Join this walking club for day hikes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  These are Volksmarches.  There will be people on the trail to make sure you don’t get lost.  You have to register at the start and carry a “start card” with you.

You turn the card in when you finish.  That way they know when everyone is in off the trail and no one is “lost”.

Big Bend is a National Park and there are entry fees in addition to the volksmarch fees ($3.00 per event).  Look for brochure & registration form to be posted sometime in April.

West Texas Trail Walkers Website

West Texas Trail Walkers to hike Palo Duro Oct 9-11

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Since I won’t get to attend these events this year, I completely forgot to post a blog about them.  Sorry for the late notice.  Hope you can come out and hike!  You don’t have to be a member to come hike.

Fri – Oct 9 – Gilvin Natural Science Center at Wildcat Bluff Nature Center, 2301 N. Soncy Road.

We walked Wildcat Bluff in 2002.

We walked Wildcat Bluff in 2002.

Walk through rolling grassland, by huge cottonwoods and a magnificent bluff. The 5K is a loop. The 10K walk links to additional trails, all within the Nature Center. A short section of the trails is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.

Sat – Oct 10 – Chinaberry Day Use Area, Palo Duro Canyon State Park

We walked the river trail back in 2002.

We walked the river trail back in 2002.

Broad, sweeping views of the canyon. Walk through fields of gigantic boulders. Easy 5K is out-and-back along the river. Harder 6K is out-and-back on the Comanche Trail. The 10K and 20K routes go out on the Comanche Trail and return along the river trails. The 20K is more difficult and includes the Rock Garden Trail up to the canyon rim and along the Rylander Fortress Cliff Trail.

 

Sun – Oct 11 – Chinaberry Day Use Area, Palo Duro Canyon State Park

When I walked this event in 2009 I didn't stop at the base of the lighthouse. I continued on up and got this great shot.

When I walked this event in 2009 I didn’t stop at the base of the lighthouse. I continued on up and got this great shot.

Great views, a lighthouse-shaped formation, and Spanish skirts. The 5K/10K are out-and-back. 5K turnaround is just beyond a stunning overlook, while the 10K turnaround is at the base of the Lighthouse formation.

Club Website for more information

Hiking the Argentina Canyon Trail in the Lincoln National Forest 10/10

I hiked the 8k version of the Argentina Canyon Trail on Friday, Oct. 10th.  These pictures were taken by my hiking companion.  We didn’t sight any elk.

Lake we passed on the way to the trailhead.

Lake we passed on the way to the trailhead.

Dam

Dam

Reflections

Reflections

Heading out on the trail

Heading out on the trail

Fall color

Fall color

Another spot of color

Another spot of color

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We made it.

We made it.

View of the forest.

View of the forest.

Short rest break.

Short rest break.

Trail marker.

Trail marker.

Another rest break.

Another rest break.

View of the forest.

View of the forest.

Steep Trail.

Steep Trail.

We are getting there.

We are getting there.

View of the trail.

View of the trail.

Come look at this.

Come look at this.

What is it?

What is it?

Forest view.

Forest view.

Another view.

Another view.

How are you doing?

How are you doing?

Hiking along.

Hiking along.

Small tree in the trail.

Small tree in the trail.

More fall color.

More fall color.

Fence

Fence

More color

More color

More color

More color

Another creek crossing.

Another creek crossing.

View of the trail.

View of the trail.

People left graffiti on the poor tree

People left graffiti on the poor tree

View of the creek

View of the creek

Still following the creek.

Still following the creek.

One last picture as we finish up the hike.

One last picture as we finish up the hike.

 

Hiking the Lincoln National Forest 10/10 – 10/12/2014

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The West Texas Trail Walkers is a volksmarching club that is dedicated to promoting outdoor recreation and good health. They have been hosting hikes for 33 years now. While their name implies that their hikes are in West Texas they also host events in the mountains near Ruidoso, NM. This area was actually part of Texas while it was a republic. (see map at link below).


Their big 3-day hiking adventure is October 10-12, 2014 and features four spectacular hikes. The hikes provide a variety of altitude, difficulty and lengths to attract hikers with a wide range of hiking experiences. All hikes have breath-taking mountains views in the pine, maple and aspens forests.


The cooler weather is getting me excited about Ruidoso! When we hiked there in 2008 we had great fall color and I heard that the people sitting up the events even encountered a little snow. I don’t know about you, but hiking definitely makes me happy. It makes my heart pump and my legs burn. It clears my mind and gets the endorphins going. Urban walking has its own delights but being out in nature, breathing fresh air, and seeing the beauty and majesty of this great land is unbeatable.


The longest and most challenging hike is BIG BONITO LOOP. I only have time for three events so I won’t be doing this one. The Big Bonito trail has 6k, 10k and 17k options and is rated 4C with 2,173 feet of elevation gain. This is a strenuous 8-hour hike in the White Mountain Wilderness, starting along the Bonito Creek and continues along abandoned mines before climbing to the summit at the Crest Trail with views of Nogal Peak and White Horse Hill. Hikers will also have opportunities to see elk and deer.


I do plan to hike the ARGENTINA CANYON TRAIL which has 5k, 8k and 10k options and is rated 3C with a 1,300 feet elevation gain. This is a popular hike featuring gorgeous forest scenery, running streams and alpine meadows. Elk sightings are not uncommon. Highlights include an opportunity to see old silver mines, views of Nogal Peak and the Malpais Lava Flow. The 8km loop cuts off the steep climb to the summit, so that is the one I will be doing.


The third trail option is the TURKEY CANYON TRAIL. It has 5k and 10k options and is rated 3C with a climb of 1,190 feet. This is a popular out and back hike in the upper Bonito Creek drainage that has multiple creek crossings and beautiful forest scenery. Be prepared for a steep climb to the 10k turn around. The stands of aspen and maple trees should be beautiful. Also look for old mines along the trail that offer first-hand glimpses into the history of the area.


The fourth trail option is the GRINDSTONE LAKE TRAIL which can be done as either a 6k out-and-back or a 12k loop. This hike is the nearest to Ruidoso and is the lowest altitude hike. It is rated 3B and has an elevation gain of 886′. While this may be the flattest walk, it’s not short on scenery. It is a 12k loop is up and down Grindstone Canyon with beautiful views of the lake and the White Mountains. Hikers will also have opportunities to see local wildlife such as deer, and, if lucky, elk. The 6k trail is forested and lakeside


To download a brochure, visit their website: http://www.westtexastrailwalkers.org


Map of Republic of Texas http://www.drtinfo.org/education/republic-of-texas-2/boundaries-of-the-republic-of-texas).

 

 

Grindstone Lake Trail

Grindstone Lake Trail

Photo Credit: Lesley Bowen

Photo Credit: Lesley Bowen

Offers 6k and 12k options and is rated 3B with 886 elevation gain. This walk is the nearest and lowest altitude hike. It is a forested loop up and down Grindstone Canyon with beautiful views of the lake and the White Mountains. Hikers will also have opportunities to see local wildlife such as deer, and, if lucky, elk. The 6k trail is forested and lakeside. — at Grindstone Lake.

Hiking the Lincoln National Forest 10/10 – 10/12/2014

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The details aren’t finalized yet but the West Texas Trail Walkers will be hosting events near Ruidoso, NM over this long weekend.  This is not the only event going on in Ruidosa that weekend (Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium) so if you want a room, book one now!
Put these dates on your calendar and check back with this blog in a few months for more details as they become available.