Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Let's dream about warmer days, Smith Spring Trail at Guadalupe Mountains National Park

One of our very favorite hikes ANYTIME of the year, is the Guadalupe Mountains National Park's Smith Spring Trail.  Satisfying because of the desert and mountain views, shade, water, and the prospect of seeing wildlife (we've seen elk on this trail!) there's also a considerable presence of history that gives one pause to contemplate the reality of early life on this land.

At the trailhead is the historic Frijole Ranch, now a small museum with exhibits about life in this farm, and early life in the area.  The ranch was also a center of life in the area, the site of the area post office, dances and social gatherings and still on the property, the schoolhouse.  Click here to learn more about the history of the ranch.

In addition to exploring the ranch, allow an extra 1-2 hours to hike the 2.3 miles loop Smith Spring trail.  Bring your binoculars, for you may see wildlife and birds along the trail, especially near the shady oasis of Smith Spring, or open wetland of Manzanita Spring, also along the trail.  Read more about the trail.

We've put together a slideshow of what you'll see on the trail...click here!

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