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March 15: Faywood, AZ to Villanueva, NM

Tucked along the Pecos River in a narrow valley is Villanueva State Park, in the tiny town (population 201) of Villanueva, NM. On the drive from Faywood, we left behind the landscape of cactus in favor of junipers and grasslands.

A much different desert landscape surrounded us as we drove to Villanueva, NM.


The campground is small - maybe three dozen sites and half of the campground was closed for the season. We talked with Gilbert, the campground host, to see if we could switch to a site with a shelter, since it was supposed to rain overnight. He told us to decide between Site 8 and 12 and that no more campers would be arriving since he was on his way to lock the campground gate.


Site 8 is located along the Pecos and, after we moved the picnic table, there was enough room in the adobe shelter to pitch our tent. (I meant to take a photo of our set-up, but forgot.)

We were grateful for our adobe shelter (left), in case of rain. The right hand photo is of a group area a little ways away from our site.

A footbridge arches over the Pecos River, leading to a trail we did not have time to hike.

The upper campground, which was closed but which we walked around, provides views into the Pecos River Valley and the town of Villanueva.


It was quiet overnight - a sleepy little place - we love those! The morning brought with it some showers and wind, so we only spent a little time exploring the park. I think we might return to it in the coming years, since it is off the beaten path and very mellow compared with the state park industrial complex that is Arizona State Park's system.


After a quick hike, we hit the road. Destination: Palo Duro Canyon, TX.

On the road again, after a good night's rest at Villanueva State Park Campground.



8 commentaires


The quiet places are nice to find.

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mary.westervelt
mary.westervelt
18 mars 2023

Now you're near where I grew up, hiked, and camped! Pecos Wilderness is old stomping grounds. Definitely worth spending time there.

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glenayers
glenayers
19 mars 2023
En réponse à

We'll add it to the list. We need to do a little more research before our next trip, so that we can visit more areas with fewer people. Yesterday's hike was as bad as Sedona, except no one was playing flute from a mesa along the trail. It was still a conga line of what seemed to be bus loads of seekers on a pilgrimage. We just had to bail before we reached the end, though we could see the prize off in the distance. In places the trail was gouged down 4-5 feet deep from all the constant foot traffic. It was beautiful, but spoiled by the popularity. Definitely not a wilderness. I blame it on the road, which…

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By the time you get home you'll have quite the list of 'places to go again next time'! Wonderful! I'm amazing how quickly the cacti seem to disappear, to be replaced by other vegetation.

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Mary
Mary
19 mars 2023
En réponse à

Yes, we remarked that we need to read up on what areas support what cacti and why.

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Tribal Scribal
Tribal Scribal
18 mars 2023

It all looks so sweet. Sorry you have to leave it behind and go into Texas but there it is like the Shadow Fold (Warning: Pop culture reference) daring you to enter. Onward!

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Mary
Mary
19 mars 2023
En réponse à

Maybe Glen will get the reference, but it floated over my head. 😁

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