Northern New Mexico - 2016 Bandelier, Valle Grande, Great Sand Dunes, Rio Grande del Norte, Petroglyphs

In May 2016, we went to northern New Mexico for a wedding and traveled around the state for 2 weeks. We started out in Española and visited Los Alamos, Valle Grande National Monument, and Bandelier National Monument. From there, we went to Taos and visited the church in Chimayo, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument and Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado. The trip ended with a quick visit to Petroglyphs National Monument.
Image Number Image (Click to Enlarge)CaptionImage Viewed
1 <b>Española Inn</b><br>

Española Inn

Española Inn
We stayed at the beautiful Española Inn for two nights in order to attend the wedding at the Ghost Ranch in nearby Abiqui. It was a lovely place with large, comfortable rooms.
754
2 <b>Española Inn courtyard</b><br>

Española Inn courtyard

Española Inn courtyard
This was our view from our balcony outside our room at the Española Inn.
792
3 <b>Apache Plume</b><br> <em>Fallugia paradoxa</em><br>Rose Family<br>May 21, 2016

Apache Plume
Fallugia paradoxa
Rose Family
May 21, 2016

Apache Plume
Fallugia paradoxa
Rose Family
May 21, 2016 Apache Plume is a small shrub with lovely white flowers. I found this one blooming along the highway going up to Los Alamos. clr: 1-w
891
4 <b>White Ragweed</b><br><em>Hymenopappas filifolius</em><br>Aster Family<br>May 22, 2016

White Ragweed
Hymenopappas filifolius
Aster Family
May 22, 2016

White Ragweed
Hymenopappas filifolius
Aster Family
May 22, 2016 I found this flower growing along the road as we were driving to Los Alamos. It was a very common flower in the northern New Mexico area. It varies from cream colored to bright yellow. clr: 5-y
697
5 <b>Paper Daisy</b><br><em>Psilostrophe tagetina</em><br>Aster Family<br>May 21, 2016

Paper Daisy
Psilostrophe tagetina
Aster Family
May 21, 2016

Paper Daisy
Psilostrophe tagetina
Aster Family
May 21, 2016 clr:5-y
813
6 <b>Scarlet Gaura</b><br><em>Gaura coccinea</em><br>Evening Primrose Family<br>May 21, 2016

Scarlet Gaura
Gaura coccinea
Evening Primrose Family
May 21, 2016

Scarlet Gaura
Gaura coccinea
Evening Primrose Family
May 21, 2016 clr:2-r
805
7 <b>Hartweg's Sundrops</b><br><em>Calyophus hartwegii fendleri</em><br>May 21, 2016

Hartweg's Sundrops
Calyophus hartwegii fendleri
May 21, 2016

Hartweg's Sundrops
Calyophus hartwegii fendleri
May 21, 2016 clr: 5-y
733
8 <b>Soapweed Yucca</b><br><em>Yucca intermedia</em><br>Agave Family<br>May 21, 2016

Soapweed Yucca
Yucca intermedia
Agave Family
May 21, 2016

Soapweed Yucca
Yucca intermedia
Agave Family
May 21, 2016 clr: 1-w
850
9 <b>Los Alamos Bradbury Museum</b><br>

Los Alamos Bradbury Museum

Los Alamos Bradbury Museum
Like Oak Ridge, TN and Hanford, Washington, Los Alamos was built to manufacture the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in WWII.
656
10 <em>Bradbury museum in Los Alamos</em>

Bradbury museum in Los Alamos

Bradbury museum in Los Alamos This is one of the exhibits at the Bradbury museum in Los Alamos. These statues represent Gen. Leslie Groves and Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, two of the key figures in the development of the bombs. In 2015 the National Park Service dedicated the Manhattan Project National Park, a three-part park commemorating the three national sites and their participation in the Manhattan Project. 762
11 <b>Fendler Bush</b><br><em>Fendlera rupicola</em><br>Agave Family<br>May 21, 2016

Fendler Bush
Fendlera rupicola
Agave Family
May 21, 2016

Fendler Bush
Fendlera rupicola
Agave Family
May 21, 2016 clr: 1-w
837
12 <b>Wildfire damage</b>

Wildfire damage

Wildfire damage The mountains above Los Alamos have been scarred by frequent wildfires. 767
13 <b>Plains Larkspur</b><br><em>Delphinium wootonii</em><br>Buttercup Family<br>May 21, 2016

Plains Larkspur
Delphinium wootonii
Buttercup Family
May 21, 2016

Plains Larkspur
Delphinium wootonii
Buttercup Family
May 21, 2016 clr: 8-v
756
14 <b>Los Alamos Geology</b><br>

Los Alamos Geology

Los Alamos Geology
The white layer of rock in this image is a very thick layer of pumice from a long ago eruption of the nearby volcano that created the Valle Grande caldera. Pumice is an interesting rock because it will float in water (until the little air holes fill with water).
732
15 <b>Valle Grande National Monument</b>

Valle Grande National Monument

Valle Grande National Monument Valle Grande National Monument was added to the National Park Service in 2000. It is the caldera of a huge, ancient volcano. The grasslands in the valley are home to herds of elk and other animals. The burned area was from a recent fire. The pronunciation of the park is "Vie-ay grahn-day", meaning "big valley" in Spanish. 700
16 Valle Grande National monument map

Valle Grande National monument map

Valle Grande National monument map 743
17 Valle Grande National monument stream running through the grassland.

Valle Grande National monument stream running through the grassland.

Valle Grande National monument stream running through the grassland. 732
18 <b>An old cabin at Valle Grande National Monument</b><br>

An old cabin at Valle Grande National Monument

An old cabin at Valle Grande National Monument
The park rangers take visitors on a guided van drive to see a different part of the park away from the visitor center.
752
19 Valle Grande National Monument

Valle Grande National Monument

Valle Grande National Monument 763
20 <b>Pygmyflower Rock Jasmine </b><br><em>Androsace septentrionalis</em><br>Primrose Family<br>May 21, 2016<br>

Pygmyflower Rock Jasmine
Androsace septentrionalis
Primrose Family
May 21, 2016

Pygmyflower Rock Jasmine
Androsace septentrionalis
Primrose Family
May 21, 2016
I was amazed at these tiny flowers I found growing in the Jemez Mountains above Los Alamos and in Valle Grande National Monument. clr: 1-w
853
21 <b>Mouse ear Chickweed</b><br><em>Cerastrum arvense strictum</em><br>Pink Family<br>May 21, 2016

Mouse ear Chickweed
Cerastrum arvense strictum
Pink Family
May 21, 2016

Mouse ear Chickweed
Cerastrum arvense strictum
Pink Family
May 21, 2016 clr: 1-w
781
22 <b>Gunnison's Prairie Dog</b><br><em>Cynomys gunnisoni</em><br>

Gunnison's Prairie Dog
Cynomys gunnisoni

Gunnison's Prairie Dog
Cynomys gunnisoni
These shy little Prairie Dogs were seen at Valle Grande.
718
23 Valle Grande, looking toward the Jemez Mountains

Valle Grande, looking toward the Jemez Mountains

Valle Grande, looking toward the Jemez Mountains 739
24 <b>Alpine Goldenrod</b><br><em>Solidago multiradiata</em><br>May 21, 2016

Alpine Goldenrod
Solidago multiradiata
May 21, 2016

Alpine Goldenrod
Solidago multiradiata
May 21, 2016 This goldenrod species is found growing in the higher elevations of New Mexico. This was photographed in the Jemez Mountains above Los Alamos, I also saw it growing on the mountain in Taos at 9,000 feet. clr: 5-y
845
25 <b>Bandelier National Monument</b>

Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument Bandelier National Monument is located near White Rock, NM. It has fascinating ancient ruins of Native American cliff dwellings and valley structures. It is possible to enter a few of the cliff dwellings by log ladders. 746
26 Bandelier National Monument ruins and cliff dwellings

Bandelier National Monument ruins and cliff dwellings

Bandelier National Monument ruins and cliff dwellings 629
27 Visiting one of the cliff dwellings at Bandelier

Visiting one of the cliff dwellings at Bandelier

Visiting one of the cliff dwellings at Bandelier 734
28 Bandelier National Monument ruins and cliff dwellings

Bandelier National Monument ruins and cliff dwellings

Bandelier National Monument ruins and cliff dwellings 704
29 Bandelier National Monument ruins

Bandelier National Monument ruins

Bandelier National Monument ruins 740
30 <b>Hop tree</b><br><em>Ptelea trifoliata</em><br>Citrus Family<br>May 21, 2016

Hop tree
Ptelea trifoliata
Citrus Family
May 21, 2016

Hop tree
Ptelea trifoliata
Citrus Family
May 21, 2016 At first glance, this small tree could be mistaken for Poison Ivy or Oak because of its' three-parted compound leaf. It is not related to Poison Ivy or Oak, it is more closely related to oranges and lemons. clr: 1-w
811
31 My husband loves to smell the bark of <b>Ponderosa Pine </b> when we go out west, it smells like vanilla!

My husband loves to smell the bark of Ponderosa Pine when we go out west, it smells like vanilla!

My husband loves to smell the bark of Ponderosa Pine when we go out west, it smells like vanilla! 730
32 <b>Fleabane Daisy</b><br><em>Erigeron divergens</em><br>Aster Family<br>May 21, 2016

Fleabane Daisy
Erigeron divergens
Aster Family
May 21, 2016

Fleabane Daisy
Erigeron divergens
Aster Family
May 21, 2016 I saw this wildflower blooming at Bandelier National Monument. It is a common wildflower in the southwest. clr: 1-w
864
33 <b>Pinkava's Scorpionweed</b><br><em>Phacelia pinkavae</em><br>Waterleaf Family<br>May 21, 2016

Pinkava's Scorpionweed
Phacelia pinkavae
Waterleaf Family
May 21, 2016

Pinkava's Scorpionweed
Phacelia pinkavae
Waterleaf Family
May 21, 2016 I found this common wildflower blooming in Bandelier National Monument. clr: 1-w
785
34 <b>Hidden Flower</b><br><em>Cryptantha crassisepala</em><br>Borage Family<br>May 21, 2016

Hidden Flower
Cryptantha crassisepala
Borage Family
May 21, 2016

Hidden Flower
Cryptantha crassisepala
Borage Family
May 21, 2016 This is a common wildflower of the southwest. clr: 1-w
844
35 <b>Hairy Golden-aster</b><br><em>Heterotheca villosa</em><br>Aster Family<br>May 21, 2016

Hairy Golden-aster
Heterotheca villosa
Aster Family
May 21, 2016

Hairy Golden-aster
Heterotheca villosa
Aster Family
May 21, 2016 clr: 5-y
883
36 <b>New Mexico Locust</b><br><em>Robinia neomexicana</em><br>Pea Family<br>May 21, 2016

New Mexico Locust
Robinia neomexicana
Pea Family
May 21, 2016

New Mexico Locust
Robinia neomexicana
Pea Family
May 21, 2016 I found this tree blooming at Bandelier National Monument. It was at the beginning of its' blooming season, most of the flowers were in bud. clr: 3-p
799
37 <b>Pale Evening-Primrose</b><br><em>Oenothera pallida</em><br>Evening-Primrose Family<br>May 21, 2016

Pale Evening-Primrose
Oenothera pallida
Evening-Primrose Family
May 21, 2016

Pale Evening-Primrose
Oenothera pallida
Evening-Primrose Family
May 21, 2016 clr: 1-w
828
38 <b>Bandelier Sidebells Penstemon</b><br><em>Penstemon secundiflorus</em><br>Snapdragon Family<br>May 21, 2016

Bandelier Sidebells Penstemon
Penstemon secundiflorus
Snapdragon Family
May 21, 2016

Bandelier Sidebells Penstemon
Penstemon secundiflorus
Snapdragon Family
May 21, 2016 This was one of those, "Stop the car! I see a new wildflower"! plants. I spotted it on our way to Bandelier. clr: 8-v
834
39 <b>Perky Sue </b><br><em>Tetraneuris argentea</em><br>Aster Family<br>May 21, 2016

Perky Sue
Tetraneuris argentea
Aster Family
May 21, 2016

Perky Sue
Tetraneuris argentea
Aster Family
May 21, 2016 You can't help but smile when you hear the name of this wildflower! It is a common wildflower in the southwest. clr: 5-y
826
40 <b>Blanket Flower</b><br><em>Gaillardia pulchella</em><br>Aster Family<br>May 21, 2016

Blanket Flower
Gaillardia pulchella
Aster Family
May 21, 2016

Blanket Flower
Gaillardia pulchella
Aster Family
May 21, 2016 clr: 5-y
751
41 <b>False Solomon's Seal </b><br><em>Maianthemum stellatum</em><br>Aster family<br>May 21, 2016

False Solomon's Seal
Maianthemum stellatum
Aster family
May 21, 2016

False Solomon's Seal
Maianthemum stellatum
Aster family
May 21, 2016 I found this flower blooming in the wooded area near a stream at Bandelier National Monument. clr: 1-w
770
42 <b>Bandelier Cupseeded Stickseed</b><br><em>Lappula occidentalis capulata</em><br>Borage Family<br>May 21, 2016

Bandelier Cupseeded Stickseed
Lappula occidentalis capulata
Borage Family
May 21, 2016

Bandelier Cupseeded Stickseed
Lappula occidentalis capulata
Borage Family
May 21, 2016 clr: 1-w
748
43 <b>Fendler's Barberry</b><br><em>Berberis fenderli</em><br>Barberry Family<br>may 21, 2016

Fendler's Barberry
Berberis fenderli
Barberry Family
may 21, 2016

Fendler's Barberry
Berberis fenderli
Barberry Family
may 21, 2016 clr: 5-y
857
44 <b>Fendler's Meadow Rue </b><br><em>Thalictrum fendleri</em><br>Buttercup Family<br>May 21, 2016

Fendler's Meadow Rue
Thalictrum fendleri
Buttercup Family
May 21, 2016

Fendler's Meadow Rue
Thalictrum fendleri
Buttercup Family
May 21, 2016 clr: 5-y
785
45 <b>Wayside Gromwell</b><br><em>Lithospermum multiflorum</em><br>Borage Family<br>May 21, 2016

Wayside Gromwell
Lithospermum multiflorum
Borage Family
May 21, 2016

Wayside Gromwell
Lithospermum multiflorum
Borage Family
May 21, 2016
890
46 <b>Skunkbush </b><br><em>Rhus trilobata</em><br>Sumac Family<br>May 21, 2016

Skunkbush
Rhus trilobata
Sumac Family
May 21, 2016

Skunkbush
Rhus trilobata
Sumac Family
May 21, 2016 This three-leaved shrub is related to Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac, but it does not contain the urishiol oil found in its' itch-inducing relatives. It will have red berries later in the year. clr: 5-y
876
47 <b>Moonrise over the mountains</b><br>

Moonrise over the mountains

Moonrise over the mountains
This beautiful sight was the grande finale of our first full day in New Mexico!
751
48 <b>Ghost Ranch</b><br>

Ghost Ranch

Ghost Ranch
My cousin's daughter got married at the beautiful Ghost Ranch (north of Abiqui, NM). This ranch was a favorite haunt of the artist Georgia O'Keefe.
615
49 <b>Ghost Ranch Cabin</b><br>

Ghost Ranch Cabin

Ghost Ranch Cabin
The flat-topped mountain in the background was featured in many of Georgia O'Keefe's paintings.
691
50 <b>Blue Flax</b><br><em>Linum lewisii</em><br>Flax Family<br>May 22, 2016

Blue Flax
Linum lewisii
Flax Family
May 22, 2016

Blue Flax
Linum lewisii
Flax Family
May 22, 2016 clr: 7-b
837
51 <b>Dwarf Gilia</b><br><em>Ipomopsis pumila</em><br>Phlox Family<br>May 22, 2016

Dwarf Gilia
Ipomopsis pumila
Phlox Family
May 22, 2016

Dwarf Gilia
Ipomopsis pumila
Phlox Family
May 22, 2016 clr: 7-b
782
52 <b>Curlycup Gumweed</b><br><em>Grindelia squarrosa</em><br>Aster Family<br>May 22, 2016

Curlycup Gumweed
Grindelia squarrosa
Aster Family
May 22, 2016

Curlycup Gumweed
Grindelia squarrosa
Aster Family
May 22, 2016 clr: 5-y
829
53 <b>Gypsum Scorpionweed</b><br><em>Phacelia integrifolia</em><br>Waterleaf Family><br>May 21, 2016

Gypsum Scorpionweed
Phacelia integrifolia
Waterleaf Family>
May 21, 2016

Gypsum Scorpionweed
Phacelia integrifolia
Waterleaf Family>
May 21, 2016 clr: 8-v
840
54 <b>Berlandier's Yellow Flax</b><br><em>Linum berlandieri</em><br>Flax Family<br>May 22, 2016

Berlandier's Yellow Flax
Linum berlandieri
Flax Family
May 22, 2016

Berlandier's Yellow Flax
Linum berlandieri
Flax Family
May 22, 2016 clr: 5-y
828
55 <b>Golden Banner</b><br><em>Thermopsis divaricarpa</em><br>Pea Family<br>May 21, 2016

Golden Banner
Thermopsis divaricarpa
Pea Family
May 21, 2016

Golden Banner
Thermopsis divaricarpa
Pea Family
May 21, 2016 clr: 5-y
831
56 <b>Globe Mallow</b><br><em>Sphaeralcea coccinea</em><br>Mallow Family<br>may 22, 2016

Globe Mallow
Sphaeralcea coccinea
Mallow Family
may 22, 2016

Globe Mallow
Sphaeralcea coccinea
Mallow Family
may 22, 2016 clr: 4-o
807
57 <b>Stinking Milkvetch</b><br><em>Astragalus praelongus</em><br>Pea Family<br>May 22, 2016

Stinking Milkvetch
Astragalus praelongus
Pea Family
May 22, 2016

Stinking Milkvetch
Astragalus praelongus
Pea Family
May 22, 2016 clr: 1-w
820
58 <b>Blue Bowls</b><br><em>Giliastrum acerosum</em><br>Phlox Family<br>May 22, 2016

Blue Bowls
Giliastrum acerosum
Phlox Family
May 22, 2016

Blue Bowls
Giliastrum acerosum
Phlox Family
May 22, 2016 clr: 7-b
755
59 <b>Claret Cup Cactus</b><br><em>Echinocereus triglochidiatus</em><br>Cactus Family<br>May 22, 2016

Claret Cup Cactus
Echinocereus triglochidiatus
Cactus Family
May 22, 2016

Claret Cup Cactus
Echinocereus triglochidiatus
Cactus Family
May 22, 2016 There was a large patch of these beautiful flowers blooming near an old cabin at the Ghost Ranch. This cactus has flowers similar to the Scarlet Hedgehog Cactus, however, it has much fewer spines. clr: 2-r
797
60 <b>Beakpod Milkvetch</b><br><em>Astragalus lentiginosus</em><br>Pea Family<br>May 23, 2016

Beakpod Milkvetch
Astragalus lentiginosus
Pea Family
May 23, 2016

Beakpod Milkvetch
Astragalus lentiginosus
Pea Family
May 23, 2016 I found this plant blooming along the highway near Chimayo. clr: 8-v
731
61 <b>Ghost Ranch </b><br>

Ghost Ranch

Ghost Ranch
Oh, the stories those red rock canyons could tell of the cattle rustlers of earlier times! Dinosaur fossils have been found in those rocks too. The ranch has a small, but interesting dinosaur fossil museum.
654
62 One of  the Ghost Ranch dinosaurs displayed in the museum.

One of the Ghost Ranch dinosaurs displayed in the museum.

One of the Ghost Ranch dinosaurs displayed in the museum. 714
63 <b>Ghost Ranch dinosaurs</b><br>

Ghost Ranch dinosaurs

Ghost Ranch dinosaurs
This Coelophysis dinosaur fossil was found in the rocks of the Ghost Ranch property. A small museum houses several fossils that were found nearby.
661
64 A Ghost Ranch dinosaur

A Ghost Ranch dinosaur

A Ghost Ranch dinosaur 737
65 <b>Juniper Mistletoe</b><br><em>Phoradendron juniperinum</em><br>Viscaceae<br>May 22, 2016

Juniper Mistletoe
Phoradendron juniperinum
Viscaceae
May 22, 2016

Juniper Mistletoe
Phoradendron juniperinum
Viscaceae
May 22, 2016 There are several species of Mistletoe, they are found on certain types of trees. This plant is semi-parasitic on Juniper trees. clr: 5-y
758
66 <b>Santuario de Chimayo</b><br>

Santuario de Chimayo

Santuario de Chimayo
When we left Española, we took the scenic "High Road To Taos" highway; I noticed a marker on the map for this beautiful historic shrine. It was an amazing little adobe church. I don't have any photos from the inside because photography was prohibited. There are many photos and relics left by worshipers and family members of people who have prayed there and been healed. One room was full of crutches and braces. Some rooms were full of baby shoes, clothing, toys, and relics of children who had either been healed or had passed away.
718
67 <b>Santuario de Chimayo</b><br>

Santuario de Chimayo

Santuario de Chimayo
Many of the rock crosses had names of people who had died written on them. Small crosses made of sticks and string had been left between the cracks in the rocks or tied to fence wires by family members who had lost a loved one.
665
68 Chimayo (3)

Chimayo (3)

Chimayo (3) 775
69 <b>A shrine at Santuario de Chimayo</b><br>

A shrine at Santuario de Chimayo

A shrine at Santuario de Chimayo
There were several shrines to Mother Mary in and around the church. People had left rosaries, candles, photos, rocks with names of loved ones or prayers, and flowers at the shrines.
769
70 <b>The High Road to Taos</b><br>

The High Road to Taos

The High Road to Taos
We enjoyed getting off the main highway and taking the slower, more scenic route to Taos. The road was steep and curvy in some places!
728
71 <b>Going to the Red Rock Motorcycle rally</b><br>

Going to the Red Rock Motorcycle rally

Going to the Red Rock Motorcycle rally
The week we were in Taos hundreds of motorcycle riders came through town on their way to Red Rock for the huge motorcycle rally. We stayed up on the mountain at the Taos Mountain Ski Resort lodge. We were amazed to see a group of riders who had come from Mexico City, 1100 miles away!
775
72 Motorcycle rally riders

Motorcycle rally riders

Motorcycle rally riders 606
73 <b>Mule Deer </b><br><em>Odocoileus hemionus</em>

Mule Deer
Odocoileus hemionus

Mule Deer
Odocoileus hemionus This curious Mule Deer was one of a small herd that crossed the road in front of us as we drove down the mountain into Taos one day.
760
74 <b>A Beaver Lodge</b><br>

A Beaver Lodge

A Beaver Lodge
This beaver lodge was in the creek on the way up to Taos Ski Mountain resort. A bit farther up the road a small lake had backed up behind a large beaver dam. I had hoped to see one of the beavers, but no luck!
798
75 <b>Kit Carson museum</b>

Kit Carson museum

Kit Carson museum We spent one day down in the town of Taos. We enjoyed visiting the Kit Carson museum. 696
76 Kit Carson and his wife

Kit Carson and his wife

Kit Carson and his wife 601
77 Many of the doors and windows in Taos are painted blue. They look lovely against the reddish adobe.

Many of the doors and windows in Taos are painted blue. They look lovely against the reddish adobe.

Many of the doors and windows in Taos are painted blue. They look lovely against the reddish adobe. 705
78 <b>Rio Grand del Norte National Monument</b><br>

Rio Grand del Norte National Monument

Rio Grand del Norte National Monument
Rio Grand del Norte was set aside as a National Monument in 2013. It protects the beautiful canyon and surrounding lands, including this section of the Rio Grande river. It offers nice hiking, wildflowers, animal sightings, petroglyphs, and river rafting opportunities.
737
79 <b>Rio Grand river seen from the bridge</b><br>

Rio Grand river seen from the bridge

Rio Grand river seen from the bridge
687
80 <b>Rio Grand del Norte</b><br>

Rio Grand del Norte

Rio Grand del Norte
Most of the roads in Rio Grande del Norte National Monument are dirt and gravel. We visited the park in May when the roads were dry and did not have any problems driving on them. This road took us from the river up to the top of the gorge.
678
81 <b>Rio Grand del Norte National Monument</b><br>

Rio Grand del Norte National Monument

Rio Grand del Norte National Monument
Due to time constraints, we only were able to hike one trail the day we went to the northern area of the park. The La Vista Verde ("green view") trail followed the rim of the canyon and came to a dead end here. We enjoyed watching rafters running the rapids in the river below from this vantage point.
698
82 <b>Lizard at Rio Grand del Norte</b><br>

Lizard at Rio Grand del Norte

Lizard at Rio Grand del Norte
This little lizard looks like it wasn't too happy to have visitors! I spotted it while we hiked on the La Vista Verde trail.
725
83 <b>Baby Aster</b><br><em>Chaetopappa ericoides</em><br>Aster Family<br>May 24, 2016

Baby Aster
Chaetopappa ericoides
Aster Family
May 24, 2016

Baby Aster
Chaetopappa ericoides
Aster Family
May 24, 2016 This pretty little aster grew in many areas. It tolerates dry conditions very well. clr: 1-w
817
84 <b>King's Lupine</b><br><em>Lupinus kingii</em><br>Pea Family<br>May 24, 2016

King's Lupine
Lupinus kingii
Pea Family
May 24, 2016

King's Lupine
Lupinus kingii
Pea Family
May 24, 2016 I nearly missed seeing this tiny plant growing along the La Vista Verde trail in Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. clr: 8-v
880
85 <b>Rio Grand del Norte Petroglyph</b><br>

Rio Grand del Norte Petroglyph

Rio Grand del Norte Petroglyph
We had heard there were petroglyphs ("rock writing") on the La Vista Verde trail. We looked the entire way to the end of the trail without finding one. On the hike back, I noticed a worn area where people had been walking off the main trail, it ended at a cliff. When we walked up to the dark rocks, I noticed this figure and other markings that had been scratched deeply into the rocks.
661
86 Rio Grand del Norte petroglyphs scratched into the rocks

Rio Grand del Norte petroglyphs scratched into the rocks

Rio Grand del Norte petroglyphs scratched into the rocks 715
87 <b> Scarlet Hedgehog cactus</b><br><em>Echinocereus</em> spp.<br>Cactus Family<br>May 24, 2016

Scarlet Hedgehog cactus
Echinocereus spp.
Cactus Family
May 24, 2016

Scarlet Hedgehog cactus
Echinocereus spp.
Cactus Family
May 24, 2016 I was excited to find a few Scarlet Hedgehog cacti in bloom along the La Vista Verde trail. There is another cactus with bright red blooms called Claret Cup that is similar, however, it has much fewer spines than the Hedgehog cactus. clr: 2-r
788
88 <b>Cutleaf Evening Primrose </b><br><em>Oenothera coronopifolia</em><br>Evening Primrose Family<br>May 24, 2016

Cutleaf Evening Primrose
Oenothera coronopifolia
Evening Primrose Family
May 24, 2016

Cutleaf Evening Primrose
Oenothera coronopifolia
Evening Primrose Family
May 24, 2016 clr: 1-w
858
89 <b>Rio Grande del Norte rafters</b><br>

Rio Grande del Norte rafters

Rio Grande del Norte rafters
There are several rafting companies that offer trips down the river for the more adventurous visitors.
702
90 <b>Rio Grand gorge State Park</b><br>

Rio Grand gorge State Park

Rio Grand gorge State Park
This is one of the few bridges that span the Rio Grande River in northern New Mexico.
600
91 <b>Rio Grand del Norte bridge</b><br>

Rio Grand del Norte bridge

Rio Grand del Norte bridge
There is a small state park here with picnic shelters. It is possible for visitors (who are not afraid of heights!) to walk out on the bridge and enjoy the view.
721
92 <b>Rio Grande del Norte National Monument</b><br>

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
This was one of the views from our last day as we were driving back to Albuquerque. The Rio Grande river is at the bottom of the gorge.
689
93 <b>Rio Grande del Norte hiking trail</b><br>

Rio Grande del Norte hiking trail

Rio Grande del Norte hiking trail
We saw a sign for a hiking trail for the southern area of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument along the highway as we were leaving Taos and we decided to stop. I was thrilled to find several wildflowers, many were new ones to me. This beautiful Indian Paintbrush was an old favorite!
693
94 <b>Foothills Paintbrush</b><br><em>Castilleja integra</em><br>Figwort Family<br>May 28, 2016

Foothills Paintbrush
Castilleja integra
Figwort Family
May 28, 2016

Foothills Paintbrush
Castilleja integra
Figwort Family
May 28, 2016 There are many species of Indian Paintbrush in the western states!
722
95 <b>Rio Grande del Norte trail with Foothills Paintbrush</b><br>

Rio Grande del Norte trail with Foothills Paintbrush

Rio Grande del Norte trail with Foothills Paintbrush
Just a lovely view of the mountains and wildflowers along the trail.
754
96 <b>Tufted Broomrape</b><br><em>Aphyllon fasciculatum</em><br>Broomrape Family<br>May 29, 2016<br>

Tufted Broomrape
Aphyllon fasciculatum
Broomrape Family
May 29, 2016

Tufted Broomrape
Aphyllon fasciculatum
Broomrape Family
May 29, 2016
I squealed with delight when I saw this plant! It is leafless and not green, meaning it is a parasitic plant. The roots grow into the roots of Sagebrush (Artemesiaspp.) and obtain water and nutrients from them. clr: 3-p
911
97 <b>Claret Cup Cactus</b><br>

Claret Cup Cactus

Claret Cup Cactus
Another pretty Claret Cup Cactus at Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.
715
98 <b>Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus</b><br><em>Echinocereus fendleri</em><br>Cactus Family<br>May 28, 2016<br>

Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus
Echinocereus fendleri
Cactus Family
May 28, 2016

Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus
Echinocereus fendleri
Cactus Family
May 28, 2016
These are small cacti with beautiful pink flowers. We were lucky to be in New Mexico during cactus-blooming season, we saw 5 species. clr:3-p
753
99 <b>Doubting Mariposa Lily</b><br><em>Calochortus ambiguus</em><br>Lily Family<br>May 28, 2016<br>

Doubting Mariposa Lily
Calochortus ambiguus
Lily Family
May 28, 2016

Doubting Mariposa Lily
Calochortus ambiguus
Lily Family
May 28, 2016
This is one of the prettiest wildflowers I saw on the trip! What a treat it was to find it! clr: 1-w
721
100 <b>Wolfberry; Pale Desert-thorn</b><br><em>Lycium pallidum</em><br>Nightshade Family<br>May 28, 2016

Wolfberry; Pale Desert-thorn
Lycium pallidum
Nightshade Family
May 28, 2016

Wolfberry; Pale Desert-thorn
Lycium pallidum
Nightshade Family
May 28, 2016 It took me a while to identify this small shrubby plant. I found it along the trail in the southern part of Rio Grande del Norte. clr: 5-y
731
101 Close-up of Wolfberry flowers

Close-up of Wolfberry flowers

Close-up of Wolfberry flowers 572
102 <b>American Vetch</b><br><em>Vicia americana</em><br>Pea Family<br>May 21, 2016

American Vetch
Vicia americana
Pea Family
May 21, 2016

American Vetch
Vicia americana
Pea Family
May 21, 2016 clr: 8-v
677
103 <b>Bastard Toadflax</b><br><em>Comandra umbellata</em><br>Sandalwood Family<br>May 22, 2016<br>

Bastard Toadflax
Comandra umbellata
Sandalwood Family
May 22, 2016

Bastard Toadflax
Comandra umbellata
Sandalwood Family
May 22, 2016
I was surprised to learn this plant is semi-parasitic. clr: 1-w
806
104 <b>Horehound</b><br><em>Marribium vulgare</em><br>Mint Family<br>May 24, 2016<br>

Horehound
Marribium vulgare
Mint Family
May 24, 2016

Horehound
Marribium vulgare
Mint Family
May 24, 2016
This is a very common non-native plant that grows across the United States. I found it growing along the La Verde Vista trail in Rio Grande del Norte. clr: 1-w
635
105 <b>Prickly Pear Cactus</b><br><em>Opuntia phaecantha</em><br>Cactus Family<br>May 24, 2016

Prickly Pear Cactus
Opuntia phaecantha
Cactus Family
May 24, 2016

Prickly Pear Cactus
Opuntia phaecantha
Cactus Family
May 24, 2016 clr: 5-y
802
106 I need to work on this one!

I need to work on this one!

I need to work on this one! 600
107 On May 25 we drove two hours from Taos to southern Colorado to visit Great Sand Dunes National Park

On May 25 we drove two hours from Taos to southern Colorado to visit Great Sand Dunes National Park

On May 25 we drove two hours from Taos to southern Colorado to visit Great Sand Dunes National Park 735
108 Great Sand Dunes NP (14)

Great Sand Dunes NP (14)

Great Sand Dunes NP (14) 707
109 <b>Great Sand Dunes National Park</b><br>

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park
I had heard of Great Sand Dunes National Park and seen it on my maps, so we decided to visit since we were so close. It is a popular park with people in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, but it is not well-known in other parts of the country. This was our first view of the dunes as we approached the park. The tallest sand dune is 755 feet high. See the map of the park: Park Map
696
110 <b>Great Sand Dunes NP </b><br>

Great Sand Dunes NP

Great Sand Dunes NP
Medano Creek runs at the edge of the sand dunes. It flows heavily in the spring due to snowmelt in the mountains. A fun thing to watch is the little surges of water that come down the creek every few minutes. It happens when sand grains build up slowing down the water. When the build up breaks down, water surges. The little surge is visible in this photo.
635
111 <b>Great Sand Dunes National  Park</b><br>

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park
I enjoyed seeing the patterns of the ripples of water in the creek.
680
112 <b>Great Sand Dunes National Park</b><br>

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park
The sand in the dunes is made up of tiny particles of rocks and minerals from mountains many miles away. Wind blows the sand across the land until it piles up in the park. The darker sand is made up of heavier minerals and separates out from the lighter, but larger rock grains.
694
113 <b>Great Sand Dunes NP</b><br>

Great Sand Dunes NP

Great Sand Dunes NP
I had thought it would be fun to walk to the top of the dunes when I read about the park. Reality set in pretty quickly when I saw how high they were and then read it takes a couple of hours to trudge to the top!
665
114 <b>Sandboarding in Great Sand Dunes National Park</b><br>

Sandboarding in Great Sand Dunes National Park

Sandboarding in Great Sand Dunes National Park
Many people rented sandboards or even slid down the dunes on cardboard boxes. We saw many ball caps that had been blown off people by the strong wind!
705
115 <b>White Locoweed</b><br><em> Oxytropis sericea</em><br>Pea Family<br>May 25, 2016<br>

White Locoweed
Oxytropis sericea
Pea Family
May 25, 2016

White Locoweed
Oxytropis sericea
Pea Family
May 25, 2016
I found this plant growing along the trail at Great Sand Dunes National Park. clr: 1-w
800
116 <b>Trumpet Gooseberry</b><br><em>Ribes leptanthum</em><br>Gooseberry Family<br>May 25, 2016

Trumpet Gooseberry
Ribes leptanthum
Gooseberry Family
May 25, 2016

Trumpet Gooseberry
Ribes leptanthum
Gooseberry Family
May 25, 2016 clr: 1-w
810
117 <b>Vipergrass</b><br><em>Scorzonera lacinata</em><br>Aster Family<br>May 25, 2016

Vipergrass
Scorzonera lacinata
Aster Family
May 25, 2016

Vipergrass
Scorzonera lacinata
Aster Family
May 25, 2016 clr: 5-y
719
118 <b>Fendler's Bladderpod</b><br><em>Physaria fendleri</em><br>Mustard Family<br>May 25, 2016

Fendler's Bladderpod
Physaria fendleri
Mustard Family
May 25, 2016

Fendler's Bladderpod
Physaria fendleri
Mustard Family
May 25, 2016 clr: 5-y
843
119 <b>Great Sand Dunes National Park road warning sign</b><br>

Great Sand Dunes National Park road warning sign

Great Sand Dunes National Park road warning sign
When people are told not to take a passenger car on the road ahead, the park rangers mean it! Even driving on the "safe" part of the road to get to this trailhead parking area was tricky, the hazards past here were not worth risking our car or our lives to attempt going on.
648
120 <b>White-stemmed Blazing Star</b><br><em>Mentzelia albicaulis</em><br>Loasa Family<br>May 24, 2016

White-stemmed Blazing Star
Mentzelia albicaulis
Loasa Family
May 24, 2016

White-stemmed Blazing Star
Mentzelia albicaulis
Loasa Family
May 24, 2016 This flower was much smaller and very different from other Blazing Stars I have seen out west. clr: 5-y
827
121 <b>Shorthorn Spurge</b><br><em>Euphorbia brachysera</em><br>Euphorbia Family<br>May 25, 2016<br>

Shorthorn Spurge
Euphorbia brachysera
Euphorbia Family
May 25, 2016

Shorthorn Spurge
Euphorbia brachysera
Euphorbia Family
May 25, 2016
clr: 5-y
798
122 <b>Mountain Mahogany</b><br><em>Cercocarpus montanus</em><br>Rose Family<br>May 25, 2016<br>

Mountain Mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus
Rose Family
May 25, 2016

Mountain Mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus
Rose Family
May 25, 2016
This was the first time I had seen this shrub in bloom. I had seen it in seed in the fall on past trips to the west. The seeds are fuzzy and curled in a "C" shape. clr: 1-w
824
123 <b>Great Sand Dunes National Park</b><br>

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park
This photo shows the amazing diversity of landscapes in this park.
693
124 <b>Marsh Marigold</b><br><em>Caltha leptosepala</em><br>Buttercup Family<br>May 26, 2016<br>

Marsh Marigold
Caltha leptosepala
Buttercup Family
May 26, 2016

Marsh Marigold
Caltha leptosepala
Buttercup Family
May 26, 2016
On our last full day on Taos mountain, we decided to hike to Williams Lake. The trailhead was located at 10,000 feet. There was still snow in the woods at this elevation and very few early spring wildflowers in bloom. I was happy to see this pretty little Marshmarigold blooming. clr: 1-w
588
125 <b>Oregon Grape</b><br><em>Berberis repens</em><br>Barberry Family<br>May 29, 2016<br>

Oregon Grape
Berberis repens
Barberry Family
May 29, 2016

Oregon Grape
Berberis repens
Barberry Family
May 29, 2016
clr: 5-y
805
126 <b>Rocky Mountain Iris</b><br><em>Iris missouriensis</em><br>Iris Family<br>May 23, 2016<br>

Rocky Mountain Iris
Iris missouriensis
Iris Family
May 23, 2016

Rocky Mountain Iris
Iris missouriensis
Iris Family
May 23, 2016
I found these plants growing in a field on the northern outskirts of Taos. clr:8-v
848
127 <b>Cliffbush</b><br><em>Jamesia americana</em><br>Hydrangea Family<br>May 25, 2016<br>

Cliffbush
Jamesia americana
Hydrangea Family
May 25, 2016

Cliffbush
Jamesia americana
Hydrangea Family
May 25, 2016
This was one of the few wildflowers blooming at the 9,000 foot elevation of Taos Ski Mountain where we stayed during the trip. clr: 1-w
839
128 <b>Scouring Rush</b><br><em>Equisetum hyemale affine</em><br>Horsetail Family<br> May 25, 2016<br>

Scouring Rush
Equisetum hyemale affine
Horsetail Family
May 25, 2016

Scouring Rush
Equisetum hyemale affine
Horsetail Family
May 25, 2016
This is not a wildflower, it produces spores instead of seeds. The tough, scratchy stems of this plant were once used to scour out cooking pots, thus the name "Scouring Rush". It is not an actual rush either. clr: 6-g
807
129 <b>Lady's Mantle</b><br><em>Alchemilla mollis</em><br>Rose Family<br>May 28, 2016<br>

Lady's Mantle
Alchemilla mollis
Rose Family
May 28, 2016

Lady's Mantle
Alchemilla mollis
Rose Family
May 28, 2016
clr: 6-g
808
130 Willow catkins

Willow catkins

Willow catkins 686
131 <b>Trailhead sign at Williams Lake parking lot</b><br>

Trailhead sign at Williams Lake parking lot

Trailhead sign at Williams Lake parking lot
It is not a good feeling to start a hike knowing there are animals you could possibly encounter that can eat you! We have never seen a mountain lion in the wild while hiking out west.
641
132 <b>Wheeler Peak</b><br>

Wheeler Peak

Wheeler Peak
At 13,161 feet, Wheeler Peak is the highest point in New Mexico. The Williams Lake trail passes by this spectacular mountain. Even though we were hiking here on May 28, there was still knee-deep snow on the ground, it made for slippery hiking.
714
133 <b>Williams Lake</b><br>

Williams Lake

Williams Lake
Williams Lake is located at 11,100 feet in elevation. It was still frozen when we hiked there. Although it looks mostly clear in this photo, less than 15 minutes later we had to leave quickly due to an approaching storm! We weren't far back into the woods when we heard thunder and it started to snow!
612
134 <b>Williams Lake hike</b>,br>

Williams Lake hike,br>

Williams Lake hike,br> Trudging back through the snow to beat the storm. It was not an easy hike! 705
135 <b>Williams Lake hike</b><br>

Williams Lake hike

Williams Lake hike
We had to watch for the blue trail blazes on the trees as we hiked up to Williams Lake. The trail was still covered with deep snow, it was hard to follow the trail in some places.
687
136 <b>Williams Lake hike</b><br>

Williams Lake hike

Williams Lake hike
We saw only this little ground squirrel and a marmot when we reached Williams Lake.
652
137 <b>Solar Panels</b><br>

Solar Panels

Solar Panels
We saw these solar panels as we were driving on the interstate north of Albuquerque.
674
138 <b>Petroglyph National Monument</b><br>

Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument
The day before we left New Mexico we squeezed in one more park to add to my National Park Passport book (this one made 6 on this trip!). Petroglyph is a bit confusing because it is a 3-part park and the visitor center is not near the petroglyph areas. The petroglyphs were marked on volcanic rock by the local Native Americans several hundred years ago. Later, Spanish explorers left their mark on some of the rocks too.
645
139 <b>Petroglyph National Monument</b><br>

Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument
This was the only trail we had time to hike due to arriving at the park later in the day. Some of the petroglyphs are visible on this large boulder. There were many more on the rocks along the trail going up the hill. The trail guide was very helpful to explain what the petroglyphs may represent.
724
140 <b>Petroglyph National Monument</b><br>

Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument
One of the more unusual petroglyphs.
745
141 <b>Petroglyph National Monument</b><br>

Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument
This part of the park is on the outskirts of northwest Albuquerque, the neighborhoods are on the park boundary. The Sandia mountains can be seen in the distance.
744
142 <b>Petroglyph National Monument</b><br>

Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument
This is the view of the parking lot and the volcanic cones in the distance. It is easy to see where the ancient lava flows ended.
731
143 <b>Spectacle Pod</b><br><em>Dimorphocarpa wislizenii</em><br>Mustard Family<br>May 28, 2016<br>

Spectacle Pod
Dimorphocarpa wislizenii
Mustard Family
May 28, 2016

Spectacle Pod
Dimorphocarpa wislizenii
Mustard Family
May 28, 2016
This plant gets its name from the seed pods that look like little green glasses. clr: 1-w
794
144 <b>Cane Cholla</b><br><em>Cylindropuntia imbricata</em><br>Cactus Family<br>May 28, 2016<br>

Cane Cholla
Cylindropuntia imbricata
Cactus Family
May 28, 2016

Cane Cholla
Cylindropuntia imbricata
Cactus Family
May 28, 2016
I had looked for this flower all week and finally saw it on our next to the last day at the Petroglyph National Monument visitor center! clr: 2-r
754

Adsense