Filed under: Family Camping, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking
A Lookout in Winter
Several months back, I wrote a post about a hike we took on the Devisadero Trail near Taos, NM. Devisadero means “lookout” and the trail was originally used by Taos Pueblo Indians to keep lookout for Apaches coming to attack the pueblo from down the canyon. Quite a romantic and historic past. At the top of Devisadero Peak, there are two stone chairs that appear quite ancient and it is easy to imagine early pueblo residents sitting here, standing guard, and protecting their community.
One of my favorite aspects of this trail, however, is that it is located on the sunny side of Taos Canyon; thus, the majority of the trail is in sunlight, every day, year-round. This means it provides a delightful hiking opportunity, even during winter months. For our first hike in the New Year, and the first hike since we returned from our two week holiday trip back to Wisconsin (meaning no hiking for at least that long!), we chose Devisadero.
The trail did not disappoint. True to form, New Mexico provided brilliant sunshine for our day. When we awoke that morning, the outdoor temperature was -9 degrees. By the time we were ready to hike, the temperature had risen to a balmy 9 degrees above 0. But, having grown up hiking, skiing and snowshoeing in the humidity of the Midwest, cold temperatures feel much more moderate in the dryer climes of the southwest than they ever did in Wisconsin. So, our 9 above actually felt about what 20 or 25would have felt in Wisconsin.
None-the-less, we started our hike all bundled up. Hats, gloves and all zippers zipped up to the neck. Within the first half hour, we had each zipped down at least one zipper and untied our hats. Further, we were beginning to sweat in the beautiful sunshine!
The hike was absolutely delightful! We encountered only three other humans (with four dogs!) in our entire two hour and fifteen minute hike. We did notice a number of elk tracks and some droppings along the trail. The snow was sparkling in the sunshine and a number of kind souls had broken trail so it was easy to follow and well-packed. As we neared the end of our hike, the temperature had warmed so, that some parts of the trail were actually becoming a bit muddy and both of our jackets were completely unzipped. When we reached the car, the thermometer read 35. It felt downright balmy!
We reached our car feeling completely refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed. We had really missed our weekly hike due to our trip. We had skied and snowshoed in Wisconsin, but the skies were gray for our entire trip and we had missed the mountains. It is good to be home. We feel very fortunate to live this close to so many wonderful opportunities to connect with the outdoors.
Read more about New Mexico camping and things to do in New Mexico.
Last 5 posts by Diane Berry
- Another Winter Family Adventure - February 10th, 2013
- A Winter Family Adventure! - February 3rd, 2013
- The Forest in Winter - January 27th, 2013
- Picuris Peak 2: The Royal Road! - January 13th, 2013
- Hiking the Picuris Peak Trail - January 6th, 2013