Hiking Travertine Falls, New Mexico!
On the final morning of Altitude Training Camp in Albuquerque, I was up early enough to meet up for the group run on Sunday morning. There was just a handful of us that hadn’t taken off for early morning flights, so we did about 4 miles – an out and back through the neighborhood – right out the door of the hotel. I was surprised that my legs felt as fresh as they did given all the exercise we’d already done the two days prior.
After a quick breakfast I headed upstairs to my room to pack up my things, before setting out on an adventure with a few friends! Lora, Anne, Meghann, and I had all booked late flights so that we could take advantage of a few extra hours in New Mexico. Major props to Lora who took care of all the details of renting a car and planning our afternoon – the rest of us were just along for the ride!
We decided to explore a local hike to a waterfall, in search of warm sunshine and great views. We drove about 20 minutes outside of Albuquerque and found the trailhead at the end of a private neighborhood.
The first thing I noticed when we got out of the car was the big trash bins marked BEAR COUNTRY – ummmmmm…
Not going to lie, it made me really nervous. I might live in the wild Northwest now, but I’m still a girl from Ohio at heart. I was pretty terrified of the thought of running into a bear, but we saw a few other hikers heading down the path. I figured if they weren’t scared, we didn’t need to be either.
We set out down the trail to see what we could find up ahead!
Our goal was to make it to Travertine Falls, but we had no idea what to actually expect. I think, despite being in the desert, most of us still expected to find a real waterfall.
What we actually found was essentially a trickle of water dripping over a rock – HA! But it ended up being for the best, since the “waterfall” was so mild, we were able to step right over the creek and scramble up the hillside to another path up above.
Once we started climbing, we started to get some peeks of gorgeous views in the distance. I’ve done a lot of hiking around Seattle, and it was so fun to explore somewhere new and see all the different vegetation in a very different part of the country.
It was perfect weather – sunny with a breeze – and the four of us were all so happy we had decided to fly home late and spend the morning together in the mountains.
We kept climbing steady up, up , up – but none of the inclines were super steep or challenging. By the time we got to the top the altitude was over 7,500 feet! We could see gorgeous hills and valleys, and the city far off in the distance.
The whole time we were up there, I kept thinking about how glad I was that I wasn’t on a plane missing all the sunshine!
We turned around after about 90 minutes or so and headed back down, so that we’d have time for a good lunch before we all had to journey home. We spent around three hours total hiking and climbing, and it was such a treat to spend a little more time with friends. It was my first trip ever to the Southwest, and is high on my list of places to return. I’d love to spend a weekend away down south with Casey sometime!
We headed to El Patio de Albuquerque for a delicious lunch of Mexican food as a final meal before the airport. I got the veggie enchiladas that were swimming in sauce, and I ate every bite. SO good!
A few hours on a few planes later, I was back home in Seattle and couldn’t wait to see my boys when they woke up. It always feels good to get away, but it feels even better to come home.