Last Tuesday my friend Dia and I hiked the Lower Rio en Medio trail just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I recently purchased a book of hikes around Santa Fe and this was the first one I chose to do. It sounded wonderful…hike along a river and get to a waterfall. What sounds better than that??? 🙂
The hike started out just beautiful with lush undergrowth beneath oak trees with the stream gurgling next to us.
Soon we were in tall Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs. It was a warm day, but the shade from all the trees made for a very pleasant hike.
There were so many wildflowers blooming, including lots of wild roses. Dia and I both love learning the wildflowers that bloom in New Mexico. So we just had to stop and examine each flower we saw along the trail.
Soon into the hike, we had to cross the stream. That water was ice cold!!!
We both had such a good time visiting and enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery. This was an awesome trail.
Scarlett didn’t seem to mind the ice cold water at all! LOL!
There were so many “Kodak” moments along this trail. It took us quite a while to walk upstream as every few feet was another beautiful spot.
My favorite photo I took of the river was the one below. This was a beautiful spot along the trail. New Mexico doesn’t have too many places where it seems cool and lush.
At one stop, I came up0n the fattest lizard I’ve ever seen. He was feeding good on the bugs along the river!
But of course, the goal of the hike was to see the waterfall. We soon came to a bunch of cairns to guide the way to the falls.
We were getting excited to see the falls. We knew the trail was going to fork. The right fork taking you up and past the falls and the left fork taking you below the falls. When we got to the fork, we went right to see the falls from above first. Scarlett was happy to lead the way!
Such a beautiful glimpse of our goal.
Next we headed back down the trail to see the falls from below. The canyon really narrowed up and we had to trek through the water quite a bit. It was so beautiful.
Then we came around a bend and there were the falls. Just stunning! I love waterfalls!
Dia immediately ran out to the rock to see the falls and feel the cool spray. I couldn’t resist photographing her there.
She said there was a cave behind the falls with smaller falls inside. So I just had to go out there and see for myself. Dia took my photo….I don’t look nearly as glamorous :-/
After peeking around the falls, I decided to go behind them. It was awesome!
I came back out and thought to myself…I need to get my camera in here and take some photos. Dia had a baggie from her lunch that fit my camera. So I bundled it up and stuffed it in my shorts. LOL!!! But it worked! I made it back around the falls and took a few pics. It was tight quarters so I couldn’t get very wide view of the inside cave.
Scarlett didn’t like the falls. She wanted to follow me but just couldn’t get up the nerve to get in the waterfall.
When I came out from behind the falls, Dia got the courage to go in there. It was exciting and COLD!!!
After having a nice lunch next to the falls, we took a few more pics before heading back downstream.
I switched lenses so I could take some photos of the all the variety of butterflies we saw while hiking up the trail.
As we were heading back to the car, we starting talking about lunch…and margaritas!!
We had made plans to eat lunch at a restaurant nearby called Gabriels. It’s a fabulous Mexican food restaurant known especially for their delicious fresh-made guacamole at your table side.
What a wonderful day spent with my wonderful friend Dia!