August 14, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Evening Rides during Chubascos Season

"Summer is a great time to enjoy nature in its amazing grandeur as the sun sets"

By Susie Morgan

Hoof Prints in Santa Fe

Susie Morgan is a lifetime lover of horses, the outdoors and lives for adventures. She lives in Las Campanas, and is reconnecting with horses after working 27 years in New York City.

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June through August is a marvelous time to take evening trail rides, providing you are willing to take the chance of getting rained on or rained out!

There is something magical about dusk. It brings light and shadows that can be enjoyed only at this time of day. By starting between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and finishing about 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., the cooler temperatures and light breezes appeal to riders as well as horses. Watching the chubascos as you ride is awe-inspiring -- with their thunder and lightning strikes in the surrounding areas. Dusk also sets a scenic stage for a picnic at the trailers while the horses cool and work on their nibble nets. Here are some spots close to town.

While all the local trails are well-suited to rides and picnics, the nod for amenities goes to Caja Del Rio at Headquarters Well where a parking lot and a cement slab with sunshade has been erected next to permanent bathrooms.

Cerrillos Hills State Park has two picnic tables close to the trailer parking. As the name suggests, this is a hilly, mostly single track trail. $5 per day permit fee required.

Valued for its amazingly diverse terrains vistas and colors is Galisteo Basin at the Cowboy Shack parking lot where a porta-potty is available. The lot is flat and the preserve is usually deserted by hikers and bikers by the time we get out on the trail. This leaves us with the breeze and silence of the arroyos to enjoy our picnic and watch the sunsets develop.

Diablo Canyon is the location most likely to be populated with other picnickers, quad and dirt bike riders near the shore of the Rio Grande. There is plenty of parking area, but no amenities other than the Rio Grande itself. As of this date, the road into Diablo Canyon will take 45 minutes to get down the seven miles of Old Buckman Road due to the severe washboard road conditions.

Summer is a great time to enjoy nature in its amazing grandeur as the sun sets.

Galisteo Basin Preserve

Caja del Rio Access - Caja Del Rio Road to County Road 62. Facilities are located about 1.5 miles down a great gravel road. CR 62 is near the Marty Sanchez Golf Course across from Calle del Sol.

Cerrillos Hills State Park

Diablo Canyon - Another link.
 

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