Wednesday, January 25, 2012 – A Riparian Tale

Saddle Rock Canyon Road – Riparian Restoration Area

 

According to Google: Ri·par·i·an – Of or relating to wetlands adjacent to rivers and streams

According to Linda: Riparian – Of or relating to fun in the desert, around water, ice and mud.

Steve from my office has unofficially started training for his challenge of hiking the Continental Divide Trail with his brother Dave. They were heading out to Saddlerock Canyon Road and invited me to join them. He mentioned a riparian area that was out there, and if it’s wet and in the desert, most people (and dogs) want to know about it.

 

Steve and Dave climbing through the rocks in the canyon

 

We drove up the dirt road that was my hike a few back (see Friday, January 13, 2012 – Hike #33), and parked where the road was blocked, and frankly turned into a sandy arroyo. We traversed through an icy path where the sun didn’t hit very often and meandered up granite rock and up a wash until it opened up and we walked up through hills and among trees. Gradually the hills fell away and we walked the trail, getting glimpses of a variety of black fur flashing past us – 3 black dogs on a hike will cause that.

 

I hope those boulders don't come down!

 

As we walked along, we hit a variety of areas that had water running on the ground. Not enough to call a stream. We checked out how it started oozing from the ground and then became a little braided stream. Cody, Rocky and Chaco had plenty of water to drink.

Steve showed us an array of other hiking options – this is going to be a fun area to explore. Eventually, we turned left and climbed the last hill of the day. Another left turn and we were headed back towards the car. We passed through two gates and saw a sign: Saddle Rock Riparian Restoration Area. Hmmm. Curiosity rises. We wander around a tree or two and see the natural entrance to a canyon. Immediately, the rock walls climbed above us. There were boulders piled precariously, as you will see in the photos. Water and sand and beautiful pink and grey speckled granite (I started redecorating my kitchen, but don’t tell my husband). We enjoyed a break among the water and rocks. The dogs enjoyed exploring the area.

 

Regrettably, we had to move on – this is the place to bring a picnic to. Note to self, be sure to return to this one!

Several man-made walls made little waterfalls for us to enjoy.

 

I tried to look up this Restoration project up on the internet, but couldn’t find anything specific.

Another sign told us that this restoration project was paid for by the Habitat Stamp Purchase. So I looked that up too. Apparently, this is a stamp that a hunter or trapper would buy when they buy a license. The proceeds go towards maintaining these types of area.

http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/habitat_stamp_program/Whatsitallabout.htm

 

3.54 miles / 2.15 hours

35 down / 65 to go

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About Gila Hiker

First I hiked 100 different trails in a year, now I write a monthly article in Desert Exposure about a local hike. Come on out to Silver City..... and bring your hiking gear!

Posted on January 26, 2012, in Challenge, Gila National Forest, Hiking, New Mexico, Outdoor Activities, Southwest and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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