Coyote are common residents around the park and take advantage of any food available such as this roadkill elk.
photo by sally king
The weather has been warm, sunny, and dry. However, there are almost certain to be some more cold snowy days before winter ends. Be sure to call (505)672-3861 x 517 before heading to the park on a snowy day. Many trails are still icy and since the big flood in August most of the bridges across Frijoles Creek are still missing. It is highly recommended that visitors turn around at the end of Long House as the crossing of the creek below it is extremely icy and hard to pass without getting wet feet. Alcove House with its 140 ft climb is closed until work can be done. It should reopen March 1. Trails into the park's backcountry are open (except Alcove House ladders and the Falls Trail below Upper Falls) but many are difficult to navigate due to the impacts of fire and flooding. Even if you have hiked here before we strongly recommend that you stop by the temporary visitor center before heading out. Visitation has been rather slow. Elk, mule deer, and coyote have been seen frequently along the park entrance road. Abert's squirrels are being seen frequently on the Main Loop Trail and in Cottonwood Picnic Area. Cranes have began to fly by overhead returning to more northern summer homes. Due to lower than average snowfall this winter skiing and snow shoeing is fairly poor on the park's cross-country ski trail.