Monday, August 14, 2017

Hiking at Fenton Lake and Valles Caldera New Mexico

My husband and I recently made a trip to Los Alamos to visit a friend. On the way, we stopped at Fenton Lake State Park New Mexico where we were greeted by this golden-mantled ground squirrel.

Fenton Lake is a popular spot for fishing, and it has campsites, though they're pretty close together. If you prefer a more remote experience and don't need amenities, you'll find plenty of backcountry camping nearby. 
Still, we had a lovely three-mile walk around the lake, admiring the many wildflowers.
Fenton Lake is in the northwest part of New Mexico, a few miles north and west of Jemez Springs. From there, we headed more or less eased through Valles Caldera National Preserve. This circular depression, caused by a spectacular volcanic eruption about 1.2 5 million years ago, is America’s newest national preserve. 
Some areas are restricted or require permits, but parts of the preserve are open to hiking, biking, hunting, and fishing. We stopped at a couple of random pull offs alongside the highway. The first trail was temporarily closed (I can't recall if it was fire danger or flooding danger, but both are risks during New Mexico summers.) The second was less of a trail than a few crisscrossing cattle paths, but we had some great views.
Fun trivia – the TV show Longmire is set in Wyoming but it is filmed in New Mexico, mainly in Las Vegas New Mexico and the Jemez Mountains. Sheriff Walt Longmire's cabin is actually an old cabin in Valles Caldera.

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle.

Read excerpts at or visit her Amazon pageSign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.