Just a few more pics of the badlands surrounding Angel Peak! Could have easily spent a month exploring the fascinating maze of colorful canyons. The best time to visit is in the early spring before it gets too hot!
Don't know if there is a local name for these rock formations, but we referred to them as the "3 Sisters".
Another interesting rock formation which reminded me of an old hoot owl!.
We were told by a ranger that this Juniper (Juniperus monosperma) could be well over 800+ years old, as they are known to be slow growing and long-lived, with some specimens reaching an estimated age of over 3000 years.
So lucky to have spotted this New Mexico Whiptail (Cnemidophorus neomexicanus) hunting insects below the tree. One of the few species of lizards in this area that is parthenogenic, an all-female species that reproduces asexually without fertilization by males. Extremely quick, they have a habit of running on their hindlimbs, ( Bipedal ) not unlike some species of dinosaurs,
Don and I have always practiced the Leave No Trace philosophy of wilderness camping, and take pride in leaving only footprints .......
Dirt trail we took leading down into the canyon during one of our hikes. This was one of the easier sections, while other parts were quite steep.
Don, at the bottom of one of the canyons checking out the layers of siltstone, mudstone, and sandstone deposited some 75 million years ago.
Don thought this rock formation looked like a sleeping camel.
During the early evenings, just before sunset, we spotted colonies of bats emerging from deep cave-like crevices in the canyon.
Just wanted to post a few pics of a recent camping trip to the canyon lands of Angels Peak. We were utterly overwhelmed by the absolute beauty of this little known gem, the first time we camped here a couple of years ago. It is every bit as beautiful as the Grand Canyon, except without the crowds. During our first visit, We found an awesome campsite overlooking the rim of one of many canyons, and we were hoping we could camp at the same site because of the views.
We were so pleased to find our favorite campsite right on the rim unoccupied! The views from the rim were awesome!
During our stay we only spotted 2 other hikers, and were quite entertained watching them attempt to climb to the top of the peak one afternoon!
Most of the trails along the rim are nicely manicured. During my hikes exploring the area, anytime I came across a place where the stones had become displaced I made sure to replace them. Always feels good helping out with trail maintenance!
These pics really don't do justice to the beautiful rainbow of colors in the sandstone, siltstone, and mudstone layers which were deposited over 75 million years ago.
Its hard to believe that approximately 75 million years ago, the San Juan Basin Badlands, was once a lush network of rivers, deltas and wetlands. Paleontologists have found a wealth of plant, reptile, and mammal fossils, including Sauropods, Seismosaurs, Pentaceratops, Alligators, and even duck-billed Hadrosaurs.
One of the more important finds are the fossils of a small paromomyid, which may be an ancient ancestor of primates. This small arboreal, squirrel like creature flourished during the Paleocene Epoch after the K-T extinction event which caused the demise of several species of Dinosaurs.
Have no idea if this rock formation has a name, but it reminded me of a big ocean liner, so I gave it the nickname "Titanic".
During one of our hikes, we spotted this hoodoo which reminded me of an Angel, head bowed in solemn prayer. Don thought it looked more like Jesus, with the crown of thorns upon his head.
Had an awesome time watching the jackrabbits chase one another on the trails just below camp. We normally spotted them in the early mornings or in the late afternoons playing along the rim.
The following pics are of Castle Rock from the overlook. More to follow in the near future!
Since its National Pet Day, thought I'd post a few of my favorite pics of our dogs. We never go anywhere without them! So many fond memories of hiking and backpacking through remote mountain meadows with them, especially Cricket, the alpha of our little pack! How they love to explore the wilderness!
Such a Happy little dog!
Rocket has always been good at being the first to alert us to bears and other wildlife in the area! Such a great watchdog!
And then there's little Breezy, the runt of the litter, a total airhead, with so much love that it comes out in every direction.
What a handful they were when they were puppies!