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2021-09-27  
El Cerro de Los Lunas, NM
mini location map2021-09-27
30 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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El Cerro de Los Lunas, NM 
El Cerro de Los Lunas, NM
 
Hiking3.86 Miles 986 AEG
Hiking3.86 Miles   1 Hour   57 Mns   1.98 mph
986 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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trixiec
We wrapped up our Pagosa Springs, Colorado trip with a detour to Los Lunas, NM to visit my older and younger sister. Neither are hikers so we decided to get our hike in before visiting them. While Tome Hill east of Los Lunas is a popular hike with the locals we felt El Cerro de Los Lunas would provide more scenic views and would be a more fitting challenge.

Talk about a challenge... the first 100 yard ascent was through deep, soft sand, making me wonder if I'd chosen the wrong direction for our loop.
Spoiler Alert: When we reached the last mile of the hike, my choice was vindicated... I HAD in fact chosen the best direction, as that mile (down and some up) passed through even deeper soft sand. So the hot tip is to do the hike counter-clockwise.

Along the northern slope we could see plenty of areas being cleared and/or under construction for businesses as well as homes. Of course, with a major Facebook Data Center right there of course there's the need for more homes and businesses. (What's Facebook you ask? I would't know, I've never had an interest)

Unfortunately once on-site I realized part of the routes I used for planning (from Gaia if I recall?) were off-trail, which threw me off so unless we doubled back a few times we would miss a few more miles of trail. While the terrain was open and easy enough to go off-trail if we wished to follow those routes, doing so was taboo in the Preserve so we stayed on the marked trails.

Eventually we made it to the large cairn at the summit and after a few moments I located the benchmark disc, which was pretty well beat up. Mission accomplished, we headed back down along the southern-most part of the trail, which followed a wide arc eastward, looping back to the trailhead.
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CannondaleKid
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