Showing posts from July, 2020

Crossing Over the Rim into the Valles Caldera

We hiked up into the lovely Cañada Bonito from the base of the Pajarito Ski Area. It is unique because it is one of the very few high mountain grasslands in the area that has not been subjected to livestock grazing since 1943, when the Los Alamos National Laboratory restricted land use. We reached the rim of the Valles Caldera at the head of Cañada Bonito. The trail turns north and follows the top of the rim through stands of aspen trees, reaching an elevation of 9,600 feet. This fireweed was growing alongside the Pipeline Trail that drops steeply down into the bowl of the Valles Caldera. The Pipeline Road delivered us to the Valle De Los Posos, a misspelling of pozos, meaning spring or well. The circular bowl of the caldera, which is 45 miles in diameter, began to open up in front of us. Thunderstorms from the previous day left puddles, foreshadowing weather conditions later in the day. The domed mountains in the background are the Cerros de los Posos. They were