On the Pecos Trail from Carlsbad to Trinidad.

Posted by on Jul 5, 2013 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

Yesterday morning (July 3rd) we spent at Carlsbad Caverns. Absolutely gorgeous formations. Well worth the time and money. The ranger-guided tours were all full and we didn’t have time to hike to the Natural Entrance, so we just did the Big Room, but that was still a lot of cave.
cavesmallAfter leaving Carlsbad, we headed back up the Pecos River, stopping near what used to be Loving’s Bend and is now a veterans’ park. The Pecos here still looks little like it should, but at least it looks better than it did down in Pecos City, Texas.
darkcanyondrawThen, just north of Carlsbad, we found the approximate location of Patterson’s Crossing, which is where the trail crossed back from the west side of the river to the east (to avoid Apache and Comanche raiders).

pattersons After leaving Carlsbad, we hurried north through Artesia and Roswell before cutting northeast to Fort Sumner. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to the fort before it closed. I was able to grab a picture of a reconstructed building though.sumnerThen it was drive another 2 hours through the darkness to our motel in Tucumcari, on Historic Route 66.

We left Tucumcari a little late this morning and headed northeast to Logan, then back to the northwest across the high plains (average elevation about 5000 feet). While driving up NM-39 towards Mosquero, we happened upon this:
cowboys Not quite a cattle drive, but they were real cowboys driving cattle 🙂

Most of our afternoon was spent at Capulin Volcano National Monument. Capulin was an important landmark on the Pecos/Goodnight-Loving Trail. Since I plan on my characters having a bit of an adventure on this volcano, I forced myself up to the summit. As I don’t handle heights well, and the crater rim peaked at 8182 feet, this was a very difficult bit of research for me.
capulin The trail passed to the west of this beautiful example of a cinder cone and then on to the north and Trinchera Pass and on into Colorado.


After our rather stressful drive and hike, we decided turning in early would be wise, so we made our way back to Raton and the interstate, zipped north, and settled in Trinidad, Colorado for the night.

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  1. Those are some great pictures!

  2. That volcano thing is cool!! Was it actually an active volcano ever?

    And did the fort just close for the day or is it closed for good? I’m assuming it’s only a historical landmark at this point?

  3. @Amber–according to scientists, the volcano was last active 60,000 years ago. The crater is where it blew once, then future flows came out of the boca near the base of the volcano, and so didn’t mar the pretty crater. Also, the vegetation returned to this volcano rather quickly, and protected the slopes from erosion, which is why it still has its pretty cinder cone shape and isn’t all worn-down like the neighboring volcanoes.

    The fort closed at 4:30 and we didn’t get there until almost 7:30. Yes, it’s just a historical landmark. The military fort closed in 1868, but the town that developed nearby kept the name.

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