I hiked a trail without a compass within the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument in the Robledo Mountains of Doña Ana County, New Mexico. The area is located at an elevation of about 4,500 feet above sea level in the Robledo Mountains north of Las Cruces New Mexico with views of canyons cut into the steep mountains, dominated by creosote.
The trackways contain footprints of numerous amphibians, reptiles, and insects (including previously unknown species), plants, and petrified wood dating back 280 million years, which collectively provide new opportunities to understand animal behaviors and environments from a time predating dinosaurs. The site contains one of the most scientifically-significant Early Permian track sites in the world.
Although during my hike, I did not capture photographs of any trackways of prehistoric amphibians, reptiles, and insects, I’m always moved by the silence of the trail with only my footsteps and wind blowing breaking my silence with nature. My hike included blissfully unique landscapes views of southern New Mexico’s mesas looking southeastward towards Las Cruces NM.
My climb in elevation of 2 to 3 thousand feet provided sidelines of the valleys across the mesas towards interstate 25 and onward to the San Andres Peaks.
The valley below is dotted with farms encompassing both sides of the Rio Grande River with vibrant fall golden brown leaves on the pecan trees groves revealing the beauty of this area. After my hike, I capture photos from ground level of these pecan groves