The trail to Devil's Hall
Two Springs Near Frijole Ranch
The National Park Service's website describes the main trails in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park (click here to go there). As you can see in that listing of trails, there are two trails that are relatively short, both moderately difficult, that can be done in a couple to a few hours each: The Smith Spring Trail at Frijole Ranch, and the Devil's Hall trail near the park's Visitors Center.
This map shows the general location of the Devil's Hall Trail and the Smith Spring (Loop) Trail:
I started out to do the Devil's Hall trail first. I had already done it once with the Vincent family and a visiting graduate student whom they were housing for a few weeks.
But that time I left my camera at home. I am a slow and very cautious hiker, because I am old, and because I hike alone a lot. So if I also try to take pictures, I would slow a group down beyond normal persons' tolerance levels.
So I get close to the park's Visitors Center on the highway and what do I see in the distance? Smoke!
So I get a bit closer:
Did not seem very threatening to where I wanted to go take a walk, so I went to the trailhead. There, Rangers were turning back hikers going to Devil's Hall and all destinations to the west, where the fire was.
They suggested I do a trail by Frijole Ranch instead. Said I would like it.
OK, so I went and checked it out. This Park Service web page will let you read about it.
If you want even more detail, click to go here.
Frijole Ranch is just that, a ranch with several springs in its surrounding area making life here possible for humans, and making it a true oasis in the Chihuahuan Desert.
It consists of a main house and support buildings:
There is also a one-room school house and a meadow with fruit trees watered with spring water. All the fruits and vegetables that sustained the ranchers were grown here.
The stable is being used today by burros that the Park Rangers ride on the trails to check on hikers and equestrians that are using the trails, and to check on the various campgrounds.
I came back a week later, the fire was out.
I had laid out these web pages before hiking anywhere, so if you follow my pages in sequence, you will walk the Devil's Hall Trail first.
But feel free to take them out of sequence if you want: Each page is linked on every page.
The trail to Devil's Hall (Part 1)
The trail to Devil's Hall (Part 2)
The trail to Devil's Hall (Part 3)
Manzanita Spring & Trail (Part 1)
Manzanita Spring & Trail (Part 2)
Smith Spring & Trail (Part 1)
Smith Spring & Trail (Part 2)
Smith Spring & Trail (Part 3)
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