i do not like this trail. not one bit. it is covered in loose rock where i would lose my footing over and over again on the way up (no falls, though). given this condition, i was so dreading the down part.
but then you finally arrive at the top. this is after at least 10 comments from randy saying that, "after this part, the trail gets good," and "the spring box is just ahead." after a couple of miles of this, one begins to wonder.
but we did arrive at the long flat top of hermit's peak, and finally to the part where randy said we could be looking into five states on a clear day: new mexico, colorado, texas, oklahoma, and kansas. it was windy, but the views did go on forever. the great plains and the southern part of the rockies. talk about wowza.
we went down to the hermit's cave, which was underwhelming and involved another 200 feet of uphill, but i'm glad i did it. a year and a half ago we went down to the organ mountains near las cruces where we saw the spot where the hermit was killed, and we saw his final resting spot. this peak was a part of that story, a story i wanted to experience more of.
and then there was the part where we headed down the wrong trail, but randy figured out that we took a wrong turn and we headed back (up).
remarkably, the hike back down the mountain wasn't as bad as i thought it would be. randy and i both remained on our feet throughout the loose rock and made pretty good time doing so.
this was my first time in this area, and likely, it won't be my last. the campground where the trailhead begins is really nice with water running through it, and i'd like to see what other connecting trails are in the area.