Thursday, 15 March 2012

Queen Valley Park Area Hikes

Every Wednesday our hike leaders take us on a different hike and many trail heads are just a short distance from our park.  We still drive - usually over a dessert trail requiring a high wheel clearance and/or 4 wheel drive - to a staging area and then strike out on the specified hike.  We often encounter other back country trekkers - whether on foot, on horseback, on ATV's or in Jeeps.  Lots of recreational opportunities in this area - and the people in our park and in the village proper are certainly a busy and active bunch!

Our hiking group on another trail in the Elephant Butte area.  We enjoyed sharing some of these hikes with friends Mori and Sheilah Stelmaschuk.  They were in our park for about a month before heading off on other adventures.

More Petroglyphs on the Elephant Butte hike.

A glistening Teddy Bear Cholla cactus - looks fuzzy soft - NOT!

One of many Inukshuk trail markers on the Mill Creek Canyon trail - and we needed them - if fact we got lost driving to the trail head and had to turn around and find our group.  We were in target practice area - just East of our Park - and were grateful that there wasn't any target shooting this day!

We shared this hike with some horseback riders

A Grand Daddy of a Saguaro - this cactus does not get it's first arm until it is 80 years old.  this specimen has to be pushing 200 years old or more.  One arm has looped down and is supporting the main plant.

A Cactus Wren nest in a Teddy Bear Cholla cactus

This hike was awesome due to the abundance of dessert blossoms - dessert poppies in bloom!

Yellow dessert poppy with another white flower - not sure of the name

Blooming Survivors!

Dessert Poppies and a Cholla

Dessert Lupine - interesting to compare the size of this lupine with those that grow wild along the roadside in PEI - and which can be close to 4 feet tall or more!

Coming down the Mill Creek Canyon trail - and here was this incredible freshly leafed out tree - the contrast was so neat!
More pictures!

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