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Little Walnut Gomez Peak Medley, NM
mini location map2020-10-14
35 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Little Walnut Gomez Peak Medley, NM 
Little Walnut Gomez Peak Medley, NM
 
Hiking avatar Oct 14 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking7.20 Miles 1,553 AEG
Hiking7.20 Miles   4 Hrs   11 Mns   1.81 mph
1,553 ft AEG      12 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
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trixiec
2020 New Mexico trip Hike #2
After arriving later than expected yesterday (forgot the one-hour time change) we figured we'd start with something requiring little-to-no planning and something we could extend the distance depending on the conditions, of the trail and our own physical condition.

So first up was the Little Walnut Day Use Picnic Area which sports numerous trails with a number of intersecting loops. While the picnic area is closed due to Covid-19 the trails are open.

A quick look at the map at the trailhead proved to be of no help because part of the map was missing and the rest was faded. But no matter, we saw a trail and simply set off for an unknown adventure. I had a track which had been posted on HAZ but almost right away we realized a good deal of it was not on designated trails so we simply ignored it and whenever we came to an intersection we decided whether to go left, right or in some cases, straight ahead.

While the trails are named on the map, each trail was numbered and our route ended up following Trail 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 4, 9, 11, 12 & 14. Only later in the evening when I found a map of the area did we realize the names of trails we hiked, which corresponded to part of Pinon Loop, Angel Loop, Gomez Peak, Dragon Trail, Mountain Loop, Wagon Wheel Loop and finally Picnic Loop.

The 'back' end of the day-use area featured trails connecting to the Continental Divide Trail which passed by less than a half-mile from where the Wagon Wheel trail followed the actual Continental Divide. All the connector trails appeared to get extensive use by mountain bikers. And yes, as I mentioned in our Burro Peak triplog, we really did wish we had brought our bikes along.... we had given it a fleeting thought but figured we'd have more than enough to do in the time we had.

Although a morning during the week, we were a bit surprised we only encountered two other hikers over 4+ hours. Ok, so we SAW two more hikers but they were on a trail below us. All appeared to be in their 20's.

Compared to our Burro Peak hike yesterday, the only real workout today was the climb to the summit of Gomez Peak. The last 150 feet of elevation was one tall step after another, one rock up to the next, the result of which was pure agony for my right knee. I ALMOST thought of cutting the hike short then and there but thankfully Tracey said 'let's continue slowly and see how it goes' and once were on flatter ground the scenery grabbed my attention and I never gave the knee another thought the balance of the hike.
Fauna
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Mule Deer
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CannondaleKid
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