Black Mesa loop

Black Mesa hikeToday Liz and I hiked the Black Mesa loop. This is a 9-mile hike with a 900 foot gain in elevation, considered a moderate hike.

It took us 5 1/2 hours to complete – we took two 15-minute rest stops along the way.

The day was wonderfully overcast, lending to some great photo ops and a pleasant afternoon. We never got too warm.

We started from the First Water trailhead, and headed up the Second Water trail. From there we hit the Black Mesa trail, where the route ascended for pretty much the duration of the trail, twisting and winding through the mountains.

We had magnificent views of Weaver’s Needle, and saw many wild animal tracks. Every half hour or so we met fellow hikers, but most of our hike was solitary, with only the sounds of the wilderness.

The vegetation was lush and green from the December rains, which promises a great wild flower season in February or March.

From Black Mesa we went though Parker Pass to Dutchman Trail and back to Second Water trail, and ended back at the First Water trailhead.

This is a great day hike, but make sure to wear long pants and you better have decent hiking boots. The trail is rocky, and near the end I was feeling every atone, wishing for better arch support. It’s a good thing I had cold beer in the fridge when we got home.

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