Took a hike last Thursday morning with some new friends on part of the aptly-named Aspen Vista Trail. The trailhead is located about 13 miles from the Santa Fe Plaza, in the Sangre de Cristo mountains near the Santa Fe Ski Basin. The entire trail is 12 miles long--we did not do anywhere near that, but had a beautiful uphill (not too steep!) hike for about an hour, and then turned around and came back down. The sky was an astonishingly deep blue, and the aspens were just beginning to turn color--another couple of weeks and they should be glorious! Click here to see my post from October 1 last year, with photos of the color much further along.
Aspens are unique in that many trees grow from a single root system. While each individual tree typically lives ony a hundred years (more or less), the root system can be thousands, or tens of thousands, years old. The trees bounce back well after forest fires because even though individual trees can be damaged, the root system quickly sends up new shoots.
This particular stand of aspen is one of the largest in New Mexico.
The view on the side of the trail
Aspens beginning to turn yellow-gold
Three of us (plus dog!) stopping to admire the view
Looking out over the valley just before we turn back