Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hike Report: Tasajillo Flats Trail, San Angelo State Park

During our brief  2-night stay at San Angelo State Park, we took a short 4 mile hike along a series of trails, most of which we had traversed before.

We began the hike on the Tasajillo Flats Trail, a trail we had not hiked before. The trail head for this trail is located near the Red Arroyo camp ground (see map), so it was a short walk from our trailer to the trail head. The trail is appropriately named, as there are clumps of tasajillo all along the trail. As with other trails in the park, desert plants dominant the landscape. This is typical of this area between the Edwards Plateau to the east and the Chihuahuan Desert to the west.

Trail junction early on the trail. We took the left fork and stayed on the Tasajillo Flats trail.
The Tasajillo Flats trail passes near the park headquarters, crossing one of the main park roads and then approaching the Highland Range subdivision of moderately priced homes. For the most part, the trail is on level terrain, but it weaves through patches of prickly pear and mesquite.
The trail crosses a park road near park headquarters

Trail winds through prickly pear, mesquite, and juniper.

Another road crossing at one of the higher elevations, affording views of distant horizons

After a while, our trail intersected with the Nature Loop Trail, which we followed to the Isabel Harte Day Use Area. At this point, we decided to follow an old paved road from the Corp of Engineer days. The road still has a good, level surface, but clumps of grass have broken through the pavement in many places.

Old road leading to picnic area no longer used

We then took the Red Dam Loop trail, which actually dips down into the dry lake bed in an area which has probably not seen water in a few decades. As testament to this, we passed the bottom of a boat ramp that hasn't seen a boat in a long, long time.

Red Dam Loop trail, with the Red Dam itself in the background. To the left of Red Dam, you can also see the dam for OC Fisher lake.
A long forgotten boat ramp

A closer view of Red Dam, with our trail in the foreground.
View from atop Red Dam. Our back trail is clearly visible, and leads roughly to the paved road at barely visible at upper right. All of this area was once under water.

It was a short hike on an overcast and windy day, but the exercise was good. We've not been walking recently, so it was good to get out, regardless of the weather.

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