After camping on the prairie in the Rita Blanca Grasslands (see previous post here), we decided to head west to Mills Canyon in New Mexico for night 2 of our trip. Take a look at the map (I pointed out Santa Fe in case that helps you get your bearings):
I discovered that the canyon was an oasis for late 19th century entrepeneur Melvin Mills, who turned the canyon into an orchard that grew 14,000 apple, peach, pear, cherry, walnut, plum, almond and chestnut trees. He lived there until a flood in 1904 decimated the hundreds of acres of orchards he planted, along with his home and hotel. The ruins of his properties lay scattered along the canyon floor still to this day.
An easy walk from our site to the river behind us:
I won’t lie: It was hot (after all, it was the middle of July). But even though this river was kinda, well, muddy…it was still a nice spot to cool off at the end of the day. And let me tell you: The stars, the stars, the stars! No light pollution here, people. There are 3 reasons to visit Mills Canyon: the history, the stars, and the walls of red rocks. Make sure to add it to your list of “cool places to check out in New Mexico”.