Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rattlesnake Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Sure the caves are cool but there's so much more, including the incredible Chihuahuan Desert, which graces the surface of Carlsbad Caverns N.P.

We took a short (it was HOT) hike today down to Rattlesnake Canyon and were amazed at the beauty, diversity and LIFE of this very special desert. Here's a quick sample:

The trailhead:

"Ready to go?":

"Yes ma'm!":

Right off the bat we come across great fossils:

Indications of a complex geologic history:

A Checkered Whiptail Lizard:

And plants, plants,'s wavy-leaf thistle (Aster family):

A cute legume (pea family) of some sort:

Two-Leaf Senna (pea family):

Strawberry Hedghog Cactus:

Pincushion Cactus (as far as we could tell):

By this time we were quite thirsty so we were happy to have our new hydration packs. These things hold a bunch of water and have room for gear too:

Here's Jennifer's:

We reach the bottom and find a dry creekbed. From the looks of the plants (green) there has to be water not too far down. This creek probably gets a-roarin' after some big rain:

Hydrated and happy hikers:


  1. Wow, so many amazing places for you two to check out!

  2. How did you like your hydration pack? I have one and I've used it a few times but the water always tastes like plastic, ick.


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