Hiking in northeast New Mexico – Clear Creek Hiking Trail at Cimarron Canyon State Park

Hiking in Northeast New Mexico - Clear Creek Hiking Trail at Cimarron Canyon State Park

My family and I recently moved from Providence, RI to Raton, NM and we’re getting used to the GREAT outdoors. This blog is about our hiking adventures in northeast New Mexico


LOCATION – Clear Creek Hiking Trail

The Clear Creek Hiking Trail is 15 minutes from the village of Eagle Nest, NM off scenic US-64 E, right in the heart of Cimarron Canyon State Park.

The Clear Creek Hiking Trailhead is right off of US-64 in the heart of Cimarron Canyon State Park between the Perryville Day Use Area and the Blackjack Tent Area. The parking area is labeled Angler Parking and the trailhead entrance is a quick 100 yd walk West along the road where Clear Creek spills into the Cimarron River.


STATS – Clear Creek Hiking Trail

Length: 2.25 miles

Elevation: 7,820′ – 9,137′

Difficulty: Moderate – Strenuous

Type: Out-and-Back Trail





TERRAIN – Clear Creek Hiking Trail

This hiking trail ascends through a thick forested areas on the north-facing slope of the canyon. The park biome offers a unique transitional zone between the New Mexico High Plains and the Southern Rocky Mountains. In addition the Clear Creek hiking trail crosses the Fowler Pass fault and has a split geology that varies greatly from the lower part to the upper part of the trail as it crosses the fault. These two distinct terrains create a rich geology that truly makes this trail a rock hunters dream. And for the waterfall hikers, this little creek hides an abundance of beautiful cascades and falls.

PROMINENT GEOLOGY – Clear Creek Hiking Trail

Felsic metamorphic rocks

Phyllite

Schist

Siltstone

Gabbro

Diorite

Granodiorite

Quartzite

Amphibolite

Granite

PROMINENT FOLIAGE – Clear Creek Hiking Trail

Douglas fir

Ponderosa pine

Gambel oak

Aspen 

PROMINENT FAUNA – Clear Creek Hiking Trail

prickly poppy

shrubby cinquefoil

skyrocket

fairy slipper

blue columbine

pinedrops

PROMINENT WILDLIFE – Clear Creek Hiking Trail

Chipmunk

Squirrel

Turkey

Golden Eagle

Bald Eagle

Red fox

Coyote

Mule deer

Black bear

Bobcat

Mountain lion

Antelope

Elk

SPECIAL NOTE – Clear Creek Hiking Trail

In 2015 heavy rains caused flash flooding in and around Cimarron Canyon [more]. Remnants and debris of this event are still visible along the rivers. It’s important to check weather forecasts before setting off on hiking adventures as even a quick shower upstream can lead to rivers and streams swelling.


IMAGE GALLERY – Clear Creek Hiking Trail

Cimarron Canyon State Park Map

Trailhead

Looks invasive

Clear creek indeed

Aspen

Fir

Yellow Wildflowers

Fairly solid footing

Wonderful path

Rock wall

Initials in the bark

Litchen

Aspen gold

Yellow wildflower

Phyllite

Soft

Canopy

Fallen

Tree Moss

Jagged outcrop

Boy in the trees

Rock Moss

Another plank bridge

unknown

Rocky terrain

Start of Autumn coloring

Looks like Holley

Lush

Hearty vegitation

Dry creek bed

Well maintain bridges

Lichen

Cascading water

Top of the waterfall

Beautiful Pools

Blue wildflower

Gambling Oak

Maybe a woodpecker

Some firs

Perfect fit

Found the flake

Slowly breaking down

Log bridge

Ferns

unknown

Purple wildflower

Water cascade

Abrasive

Parts of the path require sure footing

Little chips

There be fish in this here creek

Aspen

Drying out

Southern Slope

Red soil

Red rocks / Grey rocks

Geological shift

Rough edges

Through the pines

Eastern Slope

Fallen log

Yellow wildflowers

unknown

Rockfall

Reflection

Clear Creek

Rockfall

Waterfall

Siltstone

Quartz

Igneous

Siltstone

Tall grass

Looks like ivy

Ponderosa pines

Flash flood debris pile

Waterfall

Outcrop

 





FLYOVER VIDEO – Clear Creek Hiking Trail


Thank You

Thanks for checking out the Hiking in northeast New Mexico – Clear Creek Hiking Trail at Cimarron Canyon State Park blog. If you’re in the area of Eagle Nest, NM be sure to take some time and enjoy this geological gem of a trail. You can check out the blocksandspots.com home page for other great blogs, and be sure to subscribe below to stay in touch and please leave a comment.

Enjoy the journey!

-garrett

HIKING QUOTE OF THE DAY

Walking I am unbound, and find that precious unity of life and imagination, that silent outgoing self, which is so easy to loose, but which a high moments seems to start up again from the deepest rhythms of my own body.  How often have I had this longing for an infinite walk – of going unimpeded, until the movement of my body as I walk fell into the flight of streets under my feet – until I in my body and the world in its skin of earth were blended into a single act of knowing. –  Alfred Kazin

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