For one of our outings while in the La Junta area we decided to check out the hiking trails in the Vogel Canyon area that was located just a short 20 mile drive away from our campground.
First off the Vogel Canyon Recreation Area has 4 different hiking trails that are accessible from the main parking lot.
The Canyon Trail is a 1.75 mile round trip trail that is rated easy to moderate, The Overlook Trail that is a 1 mile round trip trail that is very easy and is handicap accessible, The Mesa Trail that is 2.25 miles and is rated moderate and the Prairie Trail that is a 3 mile round trip trail.
We sort of mixed and matched the trails as we went along but we started on the Canyon Trail and took it to the end and on the way back something caught our attention and the next thing we knew we were on the Overlook Trail and then the Mesa Trail LOL!! Can you say SQUIRREL!!
The canyon consists mainly of sandstone and is spattered with pinon pine and shortgrass prairie. It was carved out by a tributary of the Purgatoire River and has three permanent springs located at the bottom of the canyon. And the sandstone walls of the canyon have some Native American rock art dating from the 1200s to the 1700s and there are a number of spurs from the main trail that lead over to the canyon walls so you can check them out.
For us the Canyon Trail was our favorite part of the day and is where we finally ran across one of those darn Tarantula’s that were supposed to be migrating through the area. Actually it turned out to be the ONLY one we saw LOL!!!
During the 1870s a spur of the Santa Fe Trail was developed by the Barlow and Sanderson Mail and Stage Line, and we came across a section of this trail on our hike.
We also came across the old ruins of the Westbrook settlement from the 1930’s. I couldn’t find any real information about the settlement but they sure had a nice spot with some nice views and I bet it was much nicer when the river was flowing through.
The Overlook Trail even though basically just a gravel path was sort of fun to walk at the end of our day because it allowed us to look out over the canyon and reflect on where we had hiked earlier down below.
We didn’t do any of the Prairie Trail, I’m sure there might have been something interesting to find but when we looked out over where it ran we just saw a narrow single track trail going out through the flat prairie land and it just didn’t call our names.
All in all another nice day, we didn’t see another soul during our outing which was perfect with the COVID crap going on.
Be sure to come back and check out our next outing which I think we both agree was our favorite outing while in the La Junta area.
A little funny, we had someone say that because we opt to wear masks and avoid larger crowds that we are sheep and are isolating ourselves. Well if I look back on the things we have done with hikes in different parts of the country (and so many that we have not even blogged about yet) and seeing friends (again so many that we have not even blogged about yet) since the COVID thing started all we have to say is that if this is being a sheep and being isolated,,, we’ll take it!! BAhhhhh. Is that how you spell a sheep sound LOL!!!