In The Shadow Of The Sacred Peak
Blanca Peak was known to the Navajo as the sacred peak of the East, one of the four holy mountains that bounded and guarded their nation. As you travel this ancient path through the high desert, you will rarely be out of sight of it. In Blanca’s shadow, on the floor of the San Luis Valley, you’ll find miles and miles of high desert shrublands, home to Sage and Brewer’s Sparrows, jackrabbits, and wildflowers. Mixed in with the dry is the wet: flooded fields, playa lakes, and reedbeds, the natural habitat of stilts, avocets, ibises, and ducks. Where cottonwoods and willows line the water’s edge, you might find the endangered western populations of Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Willow Flycatcher. If you scare an animal off the road, it could be a badger or a bear. This trail will reward even a short visit, but if you’ve got more time to spend, you’ll find few better places to invest it.