April 2020 Ponderosa - Upper Crosssing - Frijoles Canyon Virtual Tour

up frijoles canyon
Looking up Frijoles Canyon from the rim.

photo by Sally King

 
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Duration:
15 seconds

The trail starts in large stands of Ponderosa Pines.

 
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Duration:
18 seconds

The closer you get to Frijoles Canyon rim the fewer and wider spaced the Ponderosa Pines are.

 
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Duration:
16 seconds

The area near the rim of Frijoles Canyon has burned heavily in past years.  This leaves it very open with stands of pine here and there.

 
valerian from above
This early in the spring wildflowers are not at a premium as they will be in a few short weeks.  However, valerian is a common early spring bloomer.

photo by Sally King

 
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Duration:
15 seconds

This area was once a lush oasis of green.  Later in the summer it will be again but the vegetation is much different than before fires.

 
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Duration:
20 seconds

What's different here in the canyon is the presence of water. Even though this area was heavily burned less than a decade ago, vegetation is coming back.

 
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Duration:
20 seconds

The sound of water and the squeak of a rock squirrel.  What more could one want for a perfect day?!

 
emerging horsetails
Horsetails can be found in many areas along Frijoles Creek.  They are an ancient lifeform more or less unchanged since before the time of dinosaurs.

photo by Sally King

 
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Duration:
20 seconds

Frijoles Creek has a number of small waterfalls, some through resistant rock but even more from crossing downed trees.  Watch for trees across the trail too and don't let one fall on you.

 
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Duration:
25 seconds

Partway down Frijoles Canyon you enter the Narrows.  Here the canyon is only a couple dozen feet wide and the canyon walls loom above you.  Don't hurt your neck craning to see the sky.

 
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Duration:
10 seconds

There are few places that illustrate the power of the floods after the 2011 Las Conchas Fire better than here.  So much water flowed down the canyon and saturated the canyon walls that rock falls like this one occurred.

 
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Duration:
23 seconds

In the narrowest portion of Frijoles Canyon the canyon walls dwarf hikers.

 
scarlet gilia basal leaves
Fresh new growth of spring, like these basal leaves of a scarlet gilia, are abundant in April.  These flowers won't bloom until much later in the summer.

photo by Sally King

 
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Duration:
31 seconds

Still in the Narrows.

 
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Duration:
17 seconds

Even past the Narrows the canyon walls tower but the canyon widens.

 
clematis buds
In April and May Rocky Mountain clematis bloom in profusion in the canyon.

photo by Sally King

 
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Duration:
18 seconds

The sound of running water follows you throughout this hike.

 
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Duration:
11 seconds

A juvenile crossbill cries for its supper.

 
male red crossbill
Red Crossbills have very specialized beaks for pulling seeds from cones.

photo by Sally King

Last updated: May 11, 2020

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Mailing Address:

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance RD

Los Alamos, NM 87544

Phone:

(505) 672-3861 x0

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