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Hermit's Peak - 1 member in 7 triplogs has rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Aug 15 2018
rwstorm
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 Guides 1
 Routes 125
 Photos 19,955
 Triplogs 899

72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Hermit's PeakNortheast, NM
Northeast, NM
Hiking avatar Aug 15 2018
rwstorm
Hiking6.04 Miles 2,393 AEG
Hiking6.04 Miles   6 Hrs   3 Mns   1.26 mph
2,393 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I spent several days in Las Vegas and this hike was to be the focal point of my middle day there. I had been up to the peak four other times and was hoping for a fifth, but it was not to be. This was a real test for me, since my right knee and leg issues have become worse in recent years. I knew that there was a good chance I wouldn't be able to make it, as this is a pretty tough hike on a terribly rocky trail. But I decided to give it a go and see what happened.

Summer thunderstorm season was in full swing and there had been some heavy rain overnight. I knew that I might have to contend with storms by early afternoon. I didn't get an early start, which didn't help. I made good progress heading up, hiking a lot slower than in the past, but was surprised at how well I was doing. I had a knee sleeve on and used both trekking poles, to give myself as much help as possible. I last hiked this trail in 2012, and that big rain/flood event of 2014 made this already nasty trail even more gnarly. :o As I neared the top of the switchbacks heading up the cut between two peaks, I started to get tired and had to take a break. At this point I had about another mile and about 500 feet to go. I was almost to the payoff for doing this hike: the ridge with views and a more gradual, nicer tread on to the peak. I looked at the time and realized that if I continued, I would be up on the broad top when thunderstorms might be starting up. Knowing this, and given my inability to move fast anymore coupled with the tough trail conditions in the middle of the hike, I decided I had to turn back. It really wasn't a total disappointment, as I already had done better than I expected. :) As I left the steep rocky area between the towering cliffs and started getting into better trail conditions lower down, it began thundering up on the peaks. As it turned out, no widespread monster storms developed, but there was no way to know that ahead of time. :scared: Light showers were encountered as I neared the end of the hike, otherwise it was pretty uneventful. I made all the right decisions on the trail this day. :D

For the most part this isn't a fun or scenic hike, as you are down in the trees and between cliffs with limited views. What makes it worthwhile is getting to broad top and heading over to those killer views on the east side. This trail, and others in the area, go way past the peak and deep into the Pecos Wilderness, making it a draw for backpackers especially. But beware, though the part to the peak is short, it is one tough little devil. :lol:
Named place
Named place
Beaver Creek Hermit Peak
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1 archive
May 27 2012
rwstorm
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 Guides 1
 Routes 125
 Photos 19,955
 Triplogs 899

72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Hermit's PeakNortheast, NM
Northeast, NM
Hiking avatar May 27 2012
rwstorm
Hiking10.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
3,500 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
cindyl
Yet another trip to Hermit's Peak. I love El Porvenir Campground by the trailhead, but this being a holiday weekend I wasn't going to trust getting a spot. So, our base camp for this one was the historic Plaza Hotel in downtown Las Vegas. It was a chilly, windy day for the hike, but at least the smoke plume from the monster fire in the Gila Wilderness was nowhere near. That was in stark contrast to Friday evening when we drove through Glenwood and Reserve very close to the fire, on our way to camp at Datil Well. From about Horse Springs to Datil we were driving in heavy smoke. Ash was falling out of the sky as we set up our tents there, but luckily the wind shifted within a short time and we had clear air the rest of the night.

The hike was pleasant except for the wind. After a lunch break, we went down to the Hermit's Cave, before heading back toward Hermit's Spring on the old rim trail. I made the wrong choice at the junction with the shortcut back to Hermit Spring (unsigned). We continued on the main trail downhill for about a quarter mile before I realized it wasn't familiar. We backtracked to the shortcut to the spring, and the route down the mountain.
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Cag Shot
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water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hermit Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
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May 27 2012
cindyl
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 Routes 7
 Photos 2,575
 Triplogs 218

47 female
 Joined May 15 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Hermit's PeakNortheast, NM
Northeast, NM
Hiking avatar May 27 2012
cindyl
Hiking10.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
3,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
rwstorm
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. :y:

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.
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Culture
Cag Shot
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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There are just two switchbacks left. And another half-mile to the destination...
Jun 26 2010
juliachaos
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 Routes 37
 Photos 2,160
 Triplogs 627

38 female
 Joined Mar 01 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Hermit's PeakNortheast, NM
Northeast, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 26 2010
juliachaos
Hiking8.84 Miles 4,682 AEG
Hiking8.84 Miles   6 Hrs   10 Mns   1.43 mph
4,682 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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rwstorm
After a little confusion as to where I was to meet Randy in Globe (who knew there was more than one Taco Bell there?) we headed up into New Mexico, camping for just a few hours in the El Malpais area. There looks to be some interesting caves and other areas right around there in the El Calderon area. We woke up early enough to catch the eclipse and then set off for Santa Fe, stopping for a delicious (and QUITE large) breakfast at the Owl Cafe. Got to Hermit's a little after noon and started up the trail. The temps were around low 80's and slightly uncomfortable at times, but the tree cover gets thicker after heading up for a little while. There have been efforts to thin out the trees in that area in order to prevent possible future fire spreading to the Christian Camp there. The trail itself starts out nice, but for the majority of it it's large rocks and small boulders. We started out at a good pace, but the elevation and lack of sleep from the previous night took its toll on us. Once at the top, the views just go for miles. We were treated to blue skies and very nice white fluffy clouds in all directions. After a quick nap for recovery, we headed down to see the cave area where the Hermit himself had lived for a while. The trail on the way up had had crosses on it in honor of him, and when we got to the cave area, the crosses were everywhere along with candles and icons. For the route down, we decided to take the old rim trail (this trail was signed on the way up, but overgrowth was clear and the straight shot to the top on the Jeep road was quicker and in better condition) for some different views. Lots of fallen trees covering that trail. The route down was as challenging as on the way up, as the rocks were pretty loose. After getting back to the trailhead, we were both very worn out but very satisfied with our journey on the peak.

I had lots of fun on this part of my trip; great company and great conversation! Thank you Randy for suggesting this hike, and accompanying me on it. I look forward to future hikes with you!

(PS - THANK YOU for lending me that CD.. it's pretty much all I listened to all the way into Dillon. Yes I drove thru the night because I'm crazy like that. :D )
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Spring Box
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Jun 26 2010
rwstorm
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 Guides 1
 Routes 125
 Photos 19,955
 Triplogs 899

72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Hermit's PeakNortheast, NM
Northeast, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 26 2010
rwstorm
Hiking9.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   6 Hrs      1.50 mph
3,200 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
juliachaos
I knew this was going to be an out of the ordinary adventure! 24 hours of chaos...julia style. A hike up a worthy peak nearly 600 miles from home with someone I had never met. Now that's pretty darn cool! It was my 4th time up Hermit's, but this time was by far the toughest for a number of reasons. We literally did it by driving over there with virtually no sleep (after already being up since Friday morning), then we hit the trail at midday when it was quite warm, even at 8000 feet. I had to take more breaks on the way up than I like, but having an understanding hiking partner really helped! Finally when we reached the wide summit area, the clouds started getting serious and some welcome cool breezes kicked in. Took a nice break on top, then checked out the hermit's cave a couple hundred feet down from the rim. Got some parting photos of the great vistas to the east, then down the mountain we went with occasional thunder in the distance. We kept a strong pace back to the cars, but were very tired. I felt sorry for Liz, because she still had to drive on through the night to get to her destination, while I could just crash and burn right there at the campground by the trailhead. When it comes to running on empty, nobody does it better than Liz! :worthy:

We said our goodbyes and she was on her way to Colorado. I was so tired that I blew off a trip back to town to recharge my ice chest, and just barely had enough energy to set up my tent and drink beer, which is unheard of. :lol: As I relaxed in camp with darkness setting in, I was happily reflecting on the amazing day it had been. But wait, what was that? There it is again. Fireflies! Truly the perfect ending. I sat there for about 2 hours in the dark watching hundreds of them put on a light show. Wow! Took me back to childhood days in Wisconsin. :D

This hike almost didn't happen because the lightning sparked Tecolote Fire burning nearby had resulted in the area being placed in an emergency closure. But we got lucky, as heavy rains hit the area 2 days earlier and laid the fire down enough for it to be reopened the day before we hiked! :y:

This is one of my favorite places to visit. Beautiful scenery, a great old town with many historic buildings, fine campground, and a dramatic mountain sitting on the edge of the plains to the east.

It was a pleasure meeting and hiking with you Liz. I'm glad you liked the idea and that we were able to fit it in to your overall trip plan. I look forward to hiking again with you, maybe down in southern Arizona. (glad you liked the CD too!) :)
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Culture
Cactuscat Pose
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon
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Aug 31 2007
rwstorm
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 Guides 1
 Routes 125
 Photos 19,955
 Triplogs 899

72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Hermit's PeakNortheast, NM
Northeast, NM
Hiking avatar Aug 31 2007
rwstorm
Hiking8.00 Miles 2,712 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
2,712 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was the first part of a whirlwind Labor Day weekend road trip to northern New Mexico with Tucson hiking friends Pam and Paul. I wanted to show them some of the places I had become fond of over the years. Paul had seen some, but it was all new for Pam. The focal points for the trip were camping and the hike up Hermit's Peak in the Las Vegas area and camping/hiking at Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos.

We drove up on Thursday, hoping to get a spot at El Porvenir CG before the holiday crowds arrived. I had done this before on the holiday weekend and knew we might not get a spot. (Our driving route was via one of my favorite ways to get to Las Vegas: I-10 to Deming, Hatch cutoff, I-25 to US 60 turnoff south of Belen, US 60 east to NM 3 at Encino, NM 3 north to I-25, and I-25 to Las Vegas.) We arrived late afternoon and the campground was already pretty full, but we lucked out and found a site. :D This was to be our home for the first two nights of the trip, allowing plenty of time for the hike and sightseeing.

We did the hike Friday morning, then spent the rest of the day relaxing around camp, with a short trip down to soak our feet at the hot springs at Montezuma thrown in. :) Saturday morning we packed up and headed out, with our final destination for the day being Juniper CG at Bandelier. But before that, plenty of scenic driving was in store, along with some stops at interesting places along the way. Everything went as planned, with smooth sailing all the way to a nice camp site at Bandelier for the next two nights! :D
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Sep 01 2003
rwstorm
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 Guides 1
 Routes 125
 Photos 19,955
 Triplogs 899

72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Hermit's PeakNortheast, NM
Northeast, NM
Hiking avatar Sep 01 2003
rwstorm
Hiking8.00 Miles 2,712 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
2,712 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had been visiting this area occasionally since the early 1990s and first learned of the Hermit, of Hermit's Peak fame back then. I liked the campground, as well as the drive out to it from Las Vegas, so this trip was mainly to finally hike up the mountain to his cave (really just an alcove). Turned out to be a nice hike with great views out toward the plains to the east. :)

It was also fun to camp at the same site Mom and I did 10 years prior. Following the hike I drove over to Salman Ranch to have lunch and buy some raspberries.
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3 archives
average hiking speed 1.4 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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