Chupadera Wilderness Trail

The Chupadera Wilderness Trail on the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge is a 9.5-mile hike ideally suited for a sunny, warm January day in New Mexico. Although today it felt like it was, winter is not over yet. This 70-degree weather is only supposed to last until tomorrow and then we are in for another stretch of cold weather. We had a free weekend and took advantage of it with this enjoyable hike.

We had hiked on this trail once before, but it is the type of hike you don’t mind doing over again. The only part that gets tiresome is on the way back after you cross the interstate and then you know there’s a 3-mile trudge across the desert to get back to the trailhead. Certainly doable today, but I kept thinking how awful it would be on a 100-degree summer day. Winter hiking has a lot of advantages.

In the morning, at the start, the clouds to the north looked threatening, but the skies soon cleared.
Lots of desert to cross before you get to the climb up Chupadera Peak.
A strange looking cloud formation.
The trail crosses under Interstate 25 here.
Not Chupadera Peak ahead–the trail curves to the left.
Looking back the way we came. Water in the distance is some of the ponds at the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge.
Interesting section of the trail passes through the red canyon ahead.
In the canyon. Red rock is solidified volcanic ash.
Looking back again at the refuge after passing through the canyon.
Getting higher.
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At the top–view to the north.
View to south.
View to east.
View to east.
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View to west.

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Happy Valentines Day, from a New Mexico prickly pear cactus.
Happy Valentines Day, from a New Mexico prickly pear cactus.

Author: bjregan

Enjoying retirement activities. Main goals for retirement are to stay spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.

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