If you ventured along with Joe and I to the top of Pyramid Rock, you will likely enjoy our hike along the Church Rock Trail, which is also part of Red Rock Park. From the start of the trail, this majestic image has the features of a church and steeple. Church Rock trail includes two loops which resembles a figure 8. The first trail covers 2.6 miles round trip looping back when you get to the base of Church Rock. The second loop is approximately another 1.5 miles and continues around Church Rock. The trail takes you close to the rock formations with a little bit of climbing and scrambling. The perspective changes as you take a 360 degree look at all sides and angles. We found a narrow slot canyon hidden by tent rocks decorated in layers of color. We spotted a white sand dune in the distance that turned out to be a mirage; it was actually white rock that has been carved by wind and sand in the image of a dune. Oh, and if you use your imagination you might find an image of the “Mother Mary” in a rock. At least that’s what the locals told us. I’m reminded by a quote from my son Josh; “don’t look at your feet, always look ahead and upward or you’ll miss the best part”!
My heart is saddened that over the last couple of month’s our beautiful state has been ravaged by wild fires. We are under severe drought conditions and have been battling high winds which makes it so hard to contain them. Please don’t take nature for granted. If there are places you’ve dreamt of seeing, don’t put it off for tomorrow. Enjoy them now while you still can.
Last year Joe and I started exploring the northwest part of New Mexico. Since then we’ve taken several day trips or long weekends to explore the breathtaking areas that you can only experience when hiking to them. I’m biased but I think this area is one of the most beautiful parts of the state. One place in particular that we wanted to go back and explore was the Red Rock Park approximately 10 miles east of Gallup, NM. As part of the Navajo Nation, these two trails lead to Pyramid Rock and Church Rock. There is a connecting trail between the two but it’s a bit too much for Joe and I to do all in one day. They are both moderate trails approximately 3 – 4 miles roundtrip respectively that have some spectacular views. Pyramid Rock as we discovered is not only beautiful from a distance, but the trail leads all the way up to the tip top of the peak. From there you can see for miles and miles in any direction. Joe and I are not in the same shape as our grown kids but we both felt this trail was fairly easy to climb. We met many hikers that had been hiking these trails year after year. They shared with us that if we didn’t go all the way to the top we would miss out on an amazing experience. When someone stops to tell you how much you will treasure an experience; listen. This was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Looking from above you can see the landscape that surrounds Gallup. From the beautiful Mesa’s that are dotted with shades of green and blue to the Red Rock formations that have been sculpted by the wind and sand, this area will always be one of my most cherished places to visit!