Sunday, August 22, 2021

Hiking to Pyramid Rock, NM…

May be an image of monument and natureWe had planned to keep heading north but as time passed we decided to move back east and check out the town of Gallup New Mexico. Gallup is another of those iconic towns on Route 66 that shows signs of decline because of the highway which now bypasses the city.


One of the reasons we came was to hike in the Red Rocks Park. We originally planned to camp there as well but after pulling in the park we didn’t really find an empty site we liked. However, that didn’t stop us for returning to hike amongst the beautiful red rock within the park.


There are two hikes around 3 miles each we found to be great hikes. Both of these trails were made by the CCC and even where there are steep climbs the CCC crafted steps into the sandstone to make the climb easier. We have traveled throughout the USA and are always amazed as to what the CCC built in our country.


The first day hike we did was to Pyramid Rock. This hike is more than 3 miles and gains fairly steadily in elevation. As we began our hike the weather looked dicey as we are in the middle of a very active monsoon season.


About three miles into the trail we found ourselves on the last climb to the top of Pyramid Rock.That final segment of trail curves behind Pyramid Rock and ascends all the way to the top. We passed several balanced rocks along our way but just short of us making it to the top the rains began.



We tried hunkering down under an Alligator Juniper tree hoping the rain would pass quickly. While under the tree I checked my cell phone seeing the rain was likely to get worse and last a long time. Compounding that with an occasional boom of thunder we were worried about being a tall object on the mountain thus attracting a lightning strike.


As quickly as possible down we went and after fast walking for 45 minutes in a cold 63 degree rain we drug our soaked bodies back into the car. Fortunately we had some dry shirts in the car and we turned on the heater to warm up. The hike was great even with the unfortunate ending.


Well, no good hike should end without a reward. Our reward in Gallup was Sammy C’s where we had choices of some nice New Mexico made craft beers. We even received a lesson from both a Zuni and Navajo gentleman as they taught us a few words in their native languages. What fun that was!


NOTE:  We are currently in Verde Valley, Arizona…


  1. No fun getting caught in a cold heavy rain, but the hike sure looked rewarding. And knowing how to order a beer in Navajo just might come in handy.

  2. Not like you guys to go out with thunder in the forecast. Tall objects?

    1. There was no chance of rain in the forecast. But we could see it developing off in the distance and after watching it move on radar it appeared to be skirting us, that is, until it grew larger in our directions.