[Cdt-l] New Mexico Mapping Report and Trail Changes

Brett blisterfree at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 3 18:14:53 CDT 2012

It's hard to tell just going by waypoint names in Bearcreek's description, but in the event that the new trail around Lagunitas CG was not discussed, note that (as of June) this was still unsigned and a little tricky to follow. In fact, I couldn't find any sign of the trail upon reaching Upper Lagunitas (after the initial climb above the lake, where the trail sort of reaches a dead-end dirt road turnabout). Had to bushwhack north a hundred yards or so until stumbling on the trail again, which looked as though that part hadn't been worked in a year or two. No idea where the trail was coming from. Again, no signage anywhere in this vicinity, nor at the cairned crossing of the dirt road south of Brazos Ridge, nor the eventual termination of new trail nearly at Brazos Ridge. I realize this is a work in progress, but southbounders are unlikely to find or use it this fall unless signed or otherwise highlighted here or wherever. There are good views (for a
 little while) closer to the Lagunitas end, with outlooks toward San Antonio Mountain and the distant Sangre de Cristo Mountains. 

The new trail approaching Hopewell Lake nobo seemed to do a lot of needless meandering, coming back to nearly kiss the familiar graded dirt road, then veering away, only to return again. It also needs waterbars in a serious way, at least during springtime.

It'll be interesting to see whether the caterpillar-defoliated aspens in this area were able to regenerate over the summer. Will sobo hikers tread upon freshly-fallen leaves or just shriveled caterpillar husks? A local rancher had indicated that the trees did, in fact, successfully green up again last year, so here's to hoping.

- Brett

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