Monday, July 15, 2013

Sugarite Canyon State Park, NM: Summer Love

Red penstemon, Sugarite Canyon State Park, New Mexico

I met one of my sisters in Raton, New Mexico, for a weekend. She drove down from Longmont, Colorado; I drove up from Alamogordo.

One of the many surprises I've experienced in my personal Year of New Mexico is the beauty of each season.

Thistle, Sugarite Canyon State Park, New Mexico

At Sugarite Canyon State Park, summer doesn't disappoint with its bright red-orange penstemons, masses of  something like Queen Anne's lace, lavender thistles, yellow sunflowers, pink wild roses, and white daisies. Burnt-black tree stalks belong as much to the vistas as the grassy meadows, mountain slopes, evergreens, and wildflowers.

Road to Soda Pocket Campground, Sugarite Canyon State Park, New Mexico

There's a sweet little boardwalk trail behind the park's visitor center. It includes a birder blind.

Boardwalk trail near visitor center, Sugarite Canyon State Park, New Mexico

The road up to and the Soda Pocket campground itself is an unexpected treat, not the least of which is due to the amiable campground hosts from Texas. Bears are frequent guests to the campground, we were told.

The view from some of the campsites is ahh-inspiring and the sites feel spacious and well-designed.

(In contrast, the Lake Alice campground feels cramped and potentially noisy.)

Soda Park campground, Sugarite Canyon State Park, New Mexico

Wildflowers abound.

Mule deer saunter through.

I'd divide Sugarite Canyon State Park into three zones - there's the abandoned mining camp, the lakes, and the Soda Pocket area.

Maloya Lake is the larger of the two lakes at the park, and we heard the bears like to stroll by in the hopes of a fish dinner. Lots of humans come to the park to fish. There's a trail that borders the lake, and there are picnic tables scattered at various points.

Lake Maloya, as viewed from Colorado, Sugarite Canyon State Park, New Mexico


Slide show here:

Sugarite Canyon State Park

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