This hike was a fairly daunting open-desert hike, even for fall. Despite that, the panoramic views, looking across Chico Arroyo, Lagunita Canyon in Emperado Wilderness Study Area, and Ignacio Chavez Wilderness Study Area.
Throughout the hike, we came across shards of petrified wood that had hardened into stone, majestic rock formations, and other geographical features only found in New Mexico. This hike was only four-and-a-half miles, but it was off-trail with tricky spots where hiking poles were required, so I definitely felt it more the next day.
*First Disclaimer: I went with a group of experienced hikers who are familiar with this area and have traversed this area many times. As a rule I never hike alone.
“The La Leña WSA is characterized by deep arroyos, highly sculpted mesas, canyons, and sandstone and shale outcrops. This area is easily traveled by horseback. Nesting sites for golden eagles, prairie falcon, great horned owl, red-tailed hawk, and raven are found on sandstone cliffs. Vegetation includes grama grass, cactus and Knight’s milevetch. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail passes through this WSA.”
**Second Disclaimer: All of these photos were taken on an iPhone 6s+ with some photoshop edits.