Cabezon Peak

This volcanic peak is the closest thing I’ve seen to Wyoming’s Devil’s Tower in New Mexico. It captured my attention first on our 2004 Continental Divide hike, and I’ve returned to the areas several times since. Unlike the monolith in Wyoming, there is one non-technical (no ropes needed) route up this peak. Jesse joins me to give it a try, carrying two 25-pound dumbbells in his already uncomfortable pack for “training weight”. Just to make sure he reaches the training potential of this hike, I fail to find the correct trailhead (twice!), resulting in a full-circle cross-country Tour de Cabezon. It’s lovely without a heavy pack! The walls are inspiring, and views of other “volcanic necks” in the ethereal light beckon from the horizon. Wisely, Jesse drops his training weight for the final scramble to the top. This is hiking with both hands and feet, including a few moves that feel like real climbing, for several hundred feet. We meet some other people scrambling down but have the summit to ourselves. The descent is slow and arduous, and we finish our hike through sweet desert air as the autumn light quickly fades.

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