Many of times over the years I have driven on Interstate 25 north of Santa Fe on my way to places in Colorado or Wyoming. There isn’t much in the way of civilization in that part of New Mexico. Las Vegas, NM, is one of the few towns along the way and I was never impressed with what I could see of it from the highway. I was vaguely aware that there was a hike in the mountains to the west of the town but we always seemed too busy planning hikes to other areas of the state to investigate that area. But this week we finally made the 2-hour drive up there for an overnight camping trip and then the next day a truly awesome hike of Hermit’s Peak.
If you are interested in viewing the track of the hike, use the link to the interactive map.
Before we planned the hike I wish that we had spent more time researching the history behind the name. There was a hermit who lived in a cave near the summit in the 1860’s. Many people believed that he was a saint and over the years made treks up the peak to view the cave. If we had known about the cave we might have spent some time trying to find it. Or maybe it’s just as well that we didn’t because we barely got off the peak before the thunderstorm hit. In any case, this site tells a good story about the hermit.
And another interesting connection is the description of the same hermit who lived for a time in a cave east of Las Cruces. We saw that cave when we did some hiking last winter in the Las Cruces area. This site describes the cave in Las Cruces.