The trail head winds through desert brush, cacti, and shrubs. It is rocky in places, but the slope is gradual and good for hikers of all levels.
You will want to bring adequate water, sunscreen, and a hat.
Manzanitas are among my favorite trees. They have red smooth bark and their twisty shapes mimic drift wood.
They are also fun to swing on.
Halfway up the trail, we entered this old forest. The trees are just beginning to bud, even so, the density of the forest created welcoming shade from the midday sun.
Water from a spring trickled along the forest floor, aiding to the contrast of the harsh desert that we had just crossed.
The kids were begging to dip into this pool, and felt sorry for themselves when I wouldn't allow it. The sign clearly says not to leave the path.
Somehow, this one's feet ended up getting wet anyway.
This is where desert and forest converge.
We did break away from the trail to sniff the bark of a ponderosa pine; it smells like vanilla.
This is Manzanita Spring. It was used by the settlers of Frijoles Ranch for crops and cattle.
The old ranch house has been converted into a museum. Not only is it surrounded by breath taking views, it also has a small irrigation ditch that flows from another spring around the property. The kids had a hard time staying out of this one too.
The spring on the property is housed in this small building were the water flows freely down its course.
My favorite building on the ranch is this small school house. One side of this building was the classroom, the other side was the teacher's living quarters. She had eight pupils and in payment for her services, she received a horse, room and board, and thirty dollars a month.
How eight students and one teacher were able to fit in this space is beyond me. People must have been smaller back then.