Hermit’s Peak

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.

View of Hermit's Peak driving on the road west from Las Vegas to the trailhead.
View of Hermit’s Peak driving on the road west from Las Vegas to the trailhead.

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First mile or so of the trail is through pine forests--our goal is in the distance.
First mile or so of the trail is through pine forests–our goal is in the distance.
Sky so blue and clear the moon was visible. Two hours later on our way down it was black with rain clouds. Fortunately, we had rain gear as it rained and hailed for the last 1 1/2 hours of hiking.
Sky so blue and clear the moon was visible. Two hours later on our way down it was black with rain clouds. Fortunately, we had rain gear as it rained and hailed for the last 1 1/2 hours of hiking.
Towering cliffs and towering trees.
Towering cliffs and towering trees.
View from the top looking northeast to Pecos Wilderness.
View from the top looking northeast to Pecos Wilderness.
View from the top looking east towards Las Vegas and Storrie Lake.
View from the top looking east towards Las Vegas and Storrie Lake.
Campground was near this stream.
Campground was near this stream.

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Hooker's Evening Primrose
Hooker’s Evening Primrose
Gentian.
Gentian.

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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.

Author: bjregan

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

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