Easy hike, but unbearable heat.
Wow, that was boring. There has got to be a quicker route going up the south side that would cut the hike from 4+ miles to about 1 or so. I ran it and it still felt like it was never going to end.
Trail is much longer than it needs to be. Ran all of the flat sections, and ran into several tarantulas along the way. The shale cliffs 1/4 mile to the west and northwest of the monument in New Mexico were worth the extra side trip.
It was a nice little hike. I noticed on the summit log that a woman who was 5 months pregnant had made the summit that morning. It is a mesa, so once you stop climbing, you get bored very easily looking for the monument marking the summit, but eventually it comes...it was a great day for a dose of Oklahoma Sunshine.
Drove out here on a whim and walked up at sunset. Saw hundreds of tarantulas on the way back down (around sunset in Sept is their mating season) . It was almost like a horror movie! :-)
It was a clear day, about 80 degrees. I ran/walked the trail, and got to the foot of the mesa in about 25 minutes, though it was about 2.5 miles. Then I hiked up the Mesa, on a semi-steep trail. I ran/walked another 1.5 miles or so to the stone monument. The monument was really well maintained.
This is a nice walk in the high desert. We didn't see a single person.
A great, crisp January hike on the way back from a ski trip in Colorado. See my trip report here.