The First of Many
This post chronicles the second of many loops incorporating Argentina and/or Turkey Canyons, my two favorite access points to the Crest Trail tracking the north-south ridge line along the Sierra Blancas. Our first excursion in this area in April 2018 was along the most popular loop, up Little Bonito Canyon to the Crest Trail and then down Argentina, but this second attempt revealed more (and entirely different) spectacular views into the White Sands Basin while introducing me to my now-favorite trail-slash-access point to the high meadows: Turkey Canyon.
Abbs and I started our loop going up Argentina Canyon, pleasantly shaded and green in mid-summer under the tall fir and pine. I at least got a little warm on the last steep ascent up to the springs and the adjacent ridge, but it was generally a relaxed walk for both of us wherein we took in the sights and admired the soaring trees bordering the trail.
Reaching the springs we turned north into new territory, following the ridge of the Crest Trail as it traced the topography along the Sierra Blanca Range. High meadows soon evolved into exposed windward ground, spotted with stunted pine, juniper, and brush offering expansive vistas west, but after a mile dove back into dense oak and then pine as we neared the top of Turkey Canyon. As this portion of the hike was mostly exposed I gave my old, black dog plenty of time to cool off in the sporadic shade while I took photos and admired the sheer granite cliffs and sweeping vistas. The slow pace and rolling terrain were an enjoyable respite for us both.
Once we began the descent however we were both in heaven, nestled under the beautiful high canopy of mature growth as we made an easy trek downwards. I don’t have many interesting pictures of the canyon from that day for whatever reason, but subsequent hikes which I have more thoroughly documented disclose all it’s glory – the lofty old growth, the bubbling creek,the intermittent sunshine, and the interludes of grassy meadow. It was a wonderful first foray and a truly fantastic hike.