Hiking the Pine Tree Trail Again
Because we had a few extra days in our schedule we chose to arrive in Las Cruces for our Habitat build a day early in order to hike in the beautiful Organ Mountains. We intended to hike our favorite trail, the 12 mile Baylor Pass, but Abby was having one of her off days as she’s still recovering from her fractured pelvis so we decided to do the 4.5 mile Pine Tree Loop Trail instead. Tom has hiked this trail 4 times but we hiked it together for the first time last January. Unlike last time, the trail was delightfully free of snow and ice and was also full of sunshine. For variety we decided to do the loop counter-clockwise but even if we had hiked the same direction I think it would have been a different experience than last time since everything was exceedingly green – to the point of overgrowing some sections of the trail. I also felt like the elevation gain of 900 feet was distributed differently, making for an easier ascent (though that was just an impression).
As usual the route provided us with spectacular views of the east side of the Organ Mountain Range, characterized by the more prominent profile of the “Rabbit Ears” and the smooth, broad side of Sugarloaf Peak. Despite a rough start, Abby definitely enjoyed the hike – though perhaps the warm New Mexico sun less so – and was very happy to be our hiking as opposed to traveling. Tom and I were happy too, both to be back hiking in the mountains as well as to be back in Las Cruces for 5 weeks of building.