Day 7: NNML – New Mexico Love


June 9

Rio Cebolla Creek to Rio de Las Vacas Creek (CDT -San Pedro Parks Wilderness) – 18 miles

The great things about hiking in New Mexico:

  1. No mosquitoes

  2. Beautiful meadows

  3. Clean Healthy forests

  4. Geology/rock formations

  5. Afternoon thunderstorms

6. Chili cheeseburgers

  1. Cute rangers

The Northern New Mexico Loop’s tread is trail, unmaintained trail, abandoned forest roads, 4 WD roads, and cross-country. It has about everything to keep the hiker occupied. It seems that just as soon as things are going easy something on the route will be very humbling. 

We cruised on excellent forest roads for a good part of the day and was warned by Treehugger that a section of trail had about a mile of nasty blowdowns. 

Just before this section we saw 3 Search and Rescue on horseback mapping the trail. They couldn’t go further because of the complex maze of trees covering the trail. It was fun to talk to them a bit. They were very concerned for our well-being, gave us their contact numbers, and wished us well. This was our first human beings we have seen on-trail since starting 7 days ago.

It is so crazy for me to watch 5’11” Sally go up and over logs. She handles them with such ease. Such a contrast to my 5’2″ body. I struggle to get up and over and usually end sitting on most. 

Blowdowns were sprinkled on trail for most of the afternoon. Very waring on the personality. The route is now joining the Continental Divide Trail for about the next 130 miles to Cumbres Pass. 

Just love the interesting rock formations
Now this is walking

Sally going over the blow downs – graceful
Rockin’ going over the blow downs – not graceful
Posts marking our way across meadow after meadow
Questionable water source
Elk herd
Joining the CDT


  1. Laura Lee Hughes

    Am considering doing your Day 6 section and wonder if I were to keep going along your Day 7 section if there is road crossing somewhere prior to the big section of blow downs where we could end our trip (just looking to do a few nights of backpacking in mid-Nov)?

  2. Wow, how fortunate not to have seen anyone on the trail! I know what you mean about climbing over those trees. At 4′ 11″, I too have a harder time of it. Ooo, that water. 🙂

  3. Stunning country!

  4. Bear track! woot! This is so so beautiful! I’m 5’11” and going under things is as awkward for me as going over things is for you :-)… Love the elk.. and what? no pics of the cute rangers! ha!

  5. What beautiful country you are hiking through! I am 5’1″ so I can relate to SLS. ❤️ Keep Rockin’ !

  6. BeeKeeper

    You and Sally height difference sounds like me and Joan. She realized after hiking behind me how much more effort it took me to get over, through and around. Ooohhh short leg syndrome SLS.

  7. You found the Elk! It looks like they still had some winter cover on their antlers. Thanks for the great pictures! Makes it seem like I’m hiking with you.

  8. Beautiful.

    Big bear track.

    Water looks more like Gatorade. Hopefully it tasted about that good!

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