|My parents drop me off at the trailhead at Three Rivers Campground. It's the second week of winter vacation. Last night Dad went to bed at 7 PM after our hike together. I sense they might welcome a break from hiking with me.|
|I certainly didn't expect all this water.|
|The rock formations and waterfalls are impressive, but not TOO dramatic. Not enough to draw crowds. At least not in the middle of winter.|
The most amazing parts of this place cannot be captured in photos. The gurgling sound of the desert stream plunging over boulders. The frenzied chirping of songbirds and the chortling of wild turkeys before they take off in a flash.
|Birds, like this hairy woodpecker, around every corner.|
Out of the corner of my eye, a flash. I spin around and duck at the same time.
I imagine I can feel the rush of air as it soars over my head. It is an experience I know I will remember for the rest of my life. The definition of wild.
Only miles up the trail do I wonder, what was it doing near the stream? Was there a carcass? Why did it fly so close to me?
|Snowy north-facing slopes. But thankfully this trail sticks to the sunny side as it switchbacks up to the saddle.|
|After cresting the saddle near White Horse Hill.|
|More changing colors.|
|The next morning, I follow the Crest Trail southward. No, not THAT Crest Trail.|
|Along the Crest Trail.|
|Long switchbacks down to Bonita Spring, which is dry. I'm glad I got water at the piped spring at the base of Elk Point.|
|Dropping off the crest, down the Dry Canyon Trail.|
|Blow-downs are plentiful and the trail is hard to follow. But I enjoy route-finding and know I just need to get down the slope and follow the canyon.|
Back at the trailhead, my parents meet me just as I walk into the parking lot. They always seem to know when to arrive.
"Next year, do you want to spend a week up there?" my dad asks.
"Absolutely!" I reply.
"Day Hikes and Nature Walks in the Las Cruces - El Paso Area" by Greg Magee
Three Rivers Trail
Crest Trail - information and trail status in a pdf