Archive for July, 2011

Bandera Mountain

Monday, July 18th, 2011

I have not been hiking much this year — partly because I am busy, and partly because there has been so much snow.  The snow is finally melting, so I am resuming my weekend jaunts.

Last year I passed by the trail leading to Bandera Mountain, and wished I could go there, so when I saw a meetup going there, I joined in.  We got to the trailhead before the parking lot was nearly, but not completely full.  Starting up the trail brought back memories of the last time up here.  I felt like I was making pretty good progress, but everyone else was hiking a lot faster than me.  I don’t know if I am slowing down, or if this is a fast group.

Once the trail to Bandera Peak splits off the main trail, it gets remarkably steep.  There are no switchbacks — just straight up the grassy slope.  Finally reaching the ridge line, it turns to a boulder hop.  Finally, I reach the top, last in my party.  It is cold up there, especially since I am sweaty.  Nice local views, but high clouds obscure everything far away.

There were a dozen or so hikers, besides our group, at the top.  That seemed like the end of the trail — certainly no one was going farther along the ridge.  It was not until I got back and looked at the GPS track that I realized that we had not actually reached Bandera Mountain at all.  The real peak is farther along the ridge.  I guess I will have to go back.  When the sky is clearer.

The wildflowers were pretty on the high meadow below the ridge.