This has to have been among the hardest of hikes I have done in recent memory.  I hosted it as part of the New Mexico Mountain Club in March 2013.  I imagine many of you have seen this mountain if you happen to be on Interstate 10 just east of Deming, NM looking south.  It is a very mean looking mountain even from a distance.  There are are no official trails up at the high point known as Florida Peak. floridas_whole We started at Windmill Canyon, just a couple miles southeast of Rockhound State Park.  It started innocently enough, with a slight slope and an obvious finishing point. Windmill Canyon EntranceSoon after ascending the canyon, however, we quickly learned why this range has the reputation of being the most rugged range in the entire state of New Mexico. IMG_2920 After getting up towards the top, the rhyolite spires became apparent in their starkness: IMG_2905 The view back from where we started was spectacular: IMG_2915 View of the summit: IMG_2912 Three sisters peaks from a distance:

 IMG_2904

The amount of dustorm activity was definitely picking up all around.  By the time we started heading back for ABQ you couldn’t even see the mountain range we just finished.

IMG_2906

Total time: 5 hours.

Total Distance 5.6 miles round trip.

Elevation gain: about 3,000 ft.

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