A couple of weeks ago the hiking group tackled Deception Peak, above the Santa Fe ski area.
It's a gorgeous hike, and one I'd wanted to do for years. Every year the group hikes up to Nambé Lake, at about 10,826' elevation, which I've always considered one of the most beautiful of our regular hikes. And every time I'm there, I look up at the rocky peaks above, and wonder what it's like up there. Now I finally know.
While on our way up the mountain, we were welcomed by a crew of grey jays begging near the trail. Grey jays are sometimes known as "camp robbers" because they're so tame and bold. They've learned that humans are a good source of food, and they're happy to swoop down and take it from you, or, if you're slow about offering the goods, to sit on a branch next to your head scolding you.
I dug some nuts out of my pack ...
but I was pulling the nuts out one by one, and apparently that was a
little too slow, because one jay got tired of waiting and
decided my thumb looked tasty enough. (Photos courtesy of Dave.)
Deception Peak, at 12,308', isn't the highest in the area: nearby Lake Peak is a hundred feet higher at an official 12,409'. Deception is sometimes called "Fake Lake" because of its proximity to Lake Peak and its similar height.
The views from either one are spectacular, with a panoramic view of the Santa Fe mountains and down into the valley where Nambé Lake sits.
I'm not sure if Lake Peak is named for Nambé Lake, or for the larger Santa Fe Lake to the southwest.
And yes, it's a bit of a workout getting there. It's a bit over 2100 feet
of climbing (depending on how your app smooths elevation data -- every
app is different) in a little under three miles. But well worth the climb.
Especially if you like jays.
Oh, did I mention the spectacular view? (Click on the panorama for a larger version.) You can see the Jemez across the valley. In the foreground, Lake is the next peak over, and Santa Fe Baldy, a little higher at 12,622', is the one just to its left and farther away. Follow the slope down the left side of Lake Peak to Nambé Lake. The little grassy knoll to the right of Lake is Penitente Peak (12,249'). Behind Baldy and a little to the right is Redondo (12,357) and just to Redondo's right you can just see the top of the much more distant Truchas Peak, the highest point in the area at 13,102".
[ 11:19 Jul 30, 2020 More nature | permalink to this entry | ]