HIKING THE SIERRA
By Griffin Page
Naturalist ~ Eco-guide
The impressive Sierra
Madres. Many mountain ranges in the world can be considered
as impressive. Aren’t we lucky? We have the Sierra
Madre Occidental right here in our own backyard! So
let me take you through this spectacular trail and perhaps,
you’ll want to experience it for yourself.
This walk through virgin
nature begins at a certain altitude above sea level.
This allows us to reach heights that allow for a bird’s
eye view of part of the Bay. The beginning is like a
walk in the park. Really easy walking. We encounter
vegetation of a variety so wide that I would find myself
between a rock and a hard place if I had to name them
all. We can see trumpet trees, palms, jarretaderas,
red paper trees in plenty, bamboo and shrubs of all
Along the way, we pass
a typical Mexican ranch like house in the middle of
nowhere. Extraordinary that some people can live so
far in the middle of nature. A few dogs will happily
greet us as we pass in front, excited to have company.
The area is filled with
birds of all kinds as well. You can hear doves, chachalacas
(wild pheasant like birds) in great numbers, yellow-winged
Caciques, San Blas jays and many more.
Then, it goes up and up
and up…..not too bad, but a few may want to take
a break here and there, just to catch their breath.
The climb doesn’t last long and is well worth
it. The view it affords is quite breath taking.
there, it’s all downhill and extremely pleasant.
We encounter many little creeks, flowing in therainy
season, creating an enchanting lullaby, and dry otherwise,
allowing passage for wildlife. There is a nice canopy
for shade and the air is cooler around these parts;
just what we need after the short climb. The peacefulness
of this semi-deciduous sub tropical jungle is heaven
There are many places
where we can stop to have a sip of water of even a snack
while listening to the chanting birds and watching life
go on all around us. Butterflies go by, birds fly overhead
or are in the process of making their nests, and lizards
lazily sit there in the underbrush keeping cool. Ants
are hard at work creating moving highways of natural
detritus and us, well, we just sit there and enjoy the
opportunity of being blessed enough to just be there.
The great part of this
trail is that in about 2 to 2 1/2 hrs, we reach a little
town where we can have refreshments in a beautifully
landscaped restaurant. We start at one point and end
in another, no need to turn back and go through the
same trail again.
In all honesty, this is
my favorite trail so far, but don’t just take
my word for it, come see for yourself. So take a hike,
not figuratively speaking of course, but rather literally.
A hike within the impressive Sierra Madre Occidental…..you’ll
be happy you did.