Oh what to say about this one other than I underestimated the beauty that lies on Mingus Mountain!
I never even gave this place the chance because I thought it had nothing of interest to me but boy was I wrong!
I started my day in the afternoon at the Mescal Tank/ Trail and immediately feel in love with the area about a 1/4 mile into the hike!
Lush dense strands of oak and pine along a dry drainage made for quite a nice pleasant and shaded ascent up the mountain during the warm afternoon.
After awhile I left the trail and continued straight up the mountain on game trails cross country for a mile or so and made aim for Butterfly Spring. The spring and ground were bone dry, I then proceeded onward to the surprise junction of The Butterfly and Middle Trails. I took the #537 express to until it's close proximity with Mingus Lake which at that time I departed the trail and just bee-lined it in the lakes direction.
During the process I spooked what I believe was the fourth herd of deer I encountered throughout the day, my dog Payton was too dumbfounded or maybe just drooling too hard to even notice almost everytime.
I had lunch at the lake and went up to what I thought was a legallly accessible highpoint and lookout tower but I was soon greeted with a "No Trespassing Sign".
I cracked my would to be summit beer not far away, reviewed the map and then ventured onwards with my "originally" planned loop...
Upon hitting the Viewpoint Trail I was downright astounded about what I was seeing!
Dynamic sweeping views as far as my perfect vision could see lit up the horizon and my needs were satisfied!
I setup shop in a area of comfort and just sat back and enjoyed the sunset show!
Although it could have used a little clouds in the scene I still fully appreciate every single sunrise and sunset that I have on this earth.
I decided to change my original sweet loop plans of heading down the Viewpoint Trail to its bottom starting point and then following the jeep trail back to the Mescal Tank but since I stayed taking sunset photos until complete darkness I made a route switch.
I wimped out and took the road walk all the way back to my SUV...
My unfamiliarity with the area, low headlamp batteries and the simple fact I've been watching way too many wicked horror movies during this month of October made me take the easy way back.
Mingus Mountain sure has my heart and I thoroughly enjoyed meandering around this often overlooked gem of a place.
Autumn Foliage ObservationModerate All the Oak has turned to brown and the majority of the Maples are great but maybe a week or so past prime but overall there is beautiful fall foliage action going on right now!