We knew that if we picked a hike at a higher elevation we would beat the record-setting heat we’ve had this week here in Albuquerque. But we didn’t expect that we’d have to tromp through leftover snowbanks, sometimes sinking down to our knees in snow, to reach our chosen destination, the top of Deception Peak.
The start of this hike is at the Santa Fe Ski Area and when we parked the car we could look up at the slopes and see a few patches of leftover snow. But by the time that the trail winds its way up Raven’s Ridge you are on the backside of the mountain and in an area of dense trees not reached by enough sunlight to have yet melted the deeper snowbanks. We could avoid some of the snow by finding alternate trails but, at times, when we looked ahead and saw even larger piles we wondered if we’d have to turn around.
But we kept going. Before getting to the top the trail emerges from the trees and at that point, where there is another half mile or so of ascent over a bare, rocky slope, there wasn’t any more snow to contend with. Once we enjoyed lunch and the glorious views from the top it didn’t seem so bad on the way down to go back through the snow again. Especially since we knew that when we got back to Albuquerque the temperature would be well over 90 degrees. It’s so amazing that you can live here in the desert and then with a little over an hour of driving, combined with 3 miles of hiking, you can be playing in the snow.