Travel File: Gallup, NM

He was invited to play at a beer festival in Las Vegas.  We have family there, so I decided to tag along.  We prefer to do the drive in two days, not killing ourselves with a marathon car ride.  Bluewater State Park is a nice half-way point for camping in New Mexico, and we entertained the idea of pitching our tent on this trip.  But in the end we decided it might be too much with our new puppy and opted for the Sleep Inn in Gallup.  Boy were we glad to have a hotel room after a day of driving head first into severe wind and landing in a very cold New Mexico!

New Mexico in the snow

Bowie did great in the car and slept a ton, but she got a bit anxious after about 6 hours.

Puppy travels

We wanted to reward her with a nice long walk when we arrived at our destination, so we found a park on the map and headed there.

Pyramid Hiking Trail Sign

Red Rock Park is located on the East side of Gallup, NM.  There was no fee to enter and on a Tuesday in winter, it was very quiet.  There were two main hiking trails; one called the “Pyramid Trail” and the other “Church Rock.”  That first afternoon when we drove into town, we chose to hike the Pyramid Trail.

Pyramid Hiking Trail_New Mexico

There was still quite a bit of snow on the ground, which made for a fairly muddy excursion.  The views were spectacular of Church Rock, even though we were on the Pyramid Trail.  Overhead clouds became dense blankets, then cracked open to reveal the sun while we traveled upward.

Church Rock New Mexico

New Mexico hiking_1

Pyramid Hiking Trail_New Mexico_2

Pyramid_Church Rock NM Pano

Let’s just say that Bowie got a very good night’s sleep after all of her jumping, running and playing in the snow!

Bowie asleep

When we traveled back from Vegas, we stayed in Gallup, NM again and took her on the same trail before we hit the road in the morning.  A week later the snow had melted and it was like a completely different trail.  In the snow, we couldn’t tell where the trail led and just sort of forged our own path through thickets and cactus.  On our second visit were were able to follow the real trail once we ascended the mountain, which lead to the pyramid.

Church Rock_Pyramid Hiking New Mexico

This pano shows the peak of the pyramid behind some trees (on the left) and Church Rock in the far right distance.

Pyramid Trail NM

Even though it was freezing, I’m so glad we hiked this trail in the snow.  Our husky LOVED it and there’s something very beautiful about the desert in the snow.  If you’re ever in Gallup, NM looking for something to do, spend a few hours at Red Rock Park!


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