Spring Canyon State Park in the Florida Mountains
Part 1: Orientation
Thanks to Microsoft's Bling 3-D tiltable maps, this is a nice view looking east across the Florida Mountains near Deming, New Mexico:
Wikipedia has this map and describes the little range this way:
The Florida Mountains are a small 12-mi (19 km) long mountain range in New Mexico. The mountains lie in southern Luna County about 15 mi southeast of Deming, and 20 mi north of Chihuahua state, Mexico; the range lies in the north of the Chihuahuan Desert region, and extreme southwestern New Mexico. . . . The highest point is Florida Peak at an elevation of 7,295 ft (2,224 m).
This is a commonly copied photo of the natural rock-bridge near the peak:
I am not typically a peak-conquering person, so I followed the main trail in Spring Canyon State Park, in the Florida Mountains of New Mexico near Deming. It is called the Lovers Leap Trail and is less than a mile long. But it is steep in places, as this sign warns:
This site tells of the same Lovers' Leap Trail walk. It suggests that the elevation rise on the Lovers leap Trail to the overlook is about 600 to 800 feet, depending on the starting place. I was guessing about 700 feet, so that seems right. It also describes the last quarter mile as very steep, I very much agree with that. I met two young ladies on their way down, they had just descended this very steep part and warned that they had to get on their hind-ends and scoot several times to maintain control coming down. Ominous!
To get to the highest point, Florida Peak, requires ropes and is a technical climbing challenge. Technical climbing is just not my cup of tea, sorry! If you want that sort of adventure then go to this linked site!
Since Microsoft's Bing maps allow 3-D tilted views, let's look at the path we are about to walk--the overlook destination is the rather smooth-looking divide to the left of the foreground rocky outcrop:
This is a view facing west, showing that Florida Peak is to our south, and the trail lies to the right of the more vegetated area, the divide shown above has vegetation (a small drainage ravine to its left and pretty bare ground to its right:
This is a ridge made by volcanoes, and at one time lava came pouring down its sides in some places and solidified. On the west slope, where the main wind-propelled rainstorms hit the mountain, these solidified lava flows tend to become undercut as softer material under and around them erodes, apparently leaving these very peculiar formations partly hanging in the air:
Is that cool or what?!
They look like Lovers' Slides rather than Leaps!
OR: and more likely, this is an artefact of the satellite images, and it really doesn't look like this at all. I saw no evidence for such formations at the top.
So what does the approach to this State Park look like? Nice!
Here is a look toward Deming:
That mountain is part of the Florida range but stands a bit apart from it (morning and afternoon views):
Here is the road into the State Park:
This place is famous for its poppies when there is a rainy Winter and Spring, but this year the bloom is disappointing, even though there are some nice flowers here and there:
Let's begin our walk on the next page.
Our means you and me. Audrey started this walk with me but turned back when it got quite steep and rocky and very windy. Smarter than I am.
Part 2: Walking up
Part 3: Walking up some more
Part 4: At the top
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