|Can this possibly be right? What am I doing out here?|
Setting foot on a national scenic trail always feels like coming home. Though this landscape is unfamiliar and the challenges of this trail are new— even this very newness and the constantly challenging terrain are themselves familiar. Here, I am grounded.
|Familiar signs in an unfamiliar landscape.|
|The CDT continues north over snow-covered Mt. Taylor.|
|Ponderosa thriving here.|
Traveling over lava has given this place the name “the badlands.” Navigation requires constant attention. There is no easy footpath here among the lava formations.
|Collapsed lava tubes|
|Can you find the cairn?|
|Snow on the lava.|
Parked at the paved Zuni-Acoma Trailhead off 53. Follow the signs a mile south to the Encerrito Junction sign (Guthook’s Guide calls this CDT mile 507.3), then head west following the Contential Divide Trail towards the El Calderon Trailhead to mile 503.2. And back.
El Malpais National Monument