Monday, March 3, 2008

The Burro Springs, Pouroff, and Santa Elena Trail

3/01/2008 The Burro Pouroff, Burro Spring, Santa Elena Canyon
“Did you hear the Canyon Wren?” (Renita is getting to be quite the birder! ) We spent our last day in Big Bend by walking about six miles along three Trails, Burro Spring, The Burro Pouroff, and Santa Elena Canyon.
Burro Spring was the longest hike, 2.2 miles. It wasn’t supposed to be that long but we walked past the dried up spring and were rewarded by a pair of canyon wrens, who were nesting in a crack on a cliff face. We were able to watch them carry bits of nesting material and got a good look at them through the binoculars. There was not much other wildlife but there was some javelin scat along the trail.
Up the road a bit was Burro Pouroff. It was a real treat. The roundtrip hike was only 1.5 miles. We spotted a black chinned sparrow, a canyon towhee, and listened to more canyon wrens. I was able to climb up the pouroff, a little bit, as I wanted to see the undercutting. You just don’t see dried up waterfalls that often. Lots of conglomerate and breccias in the rock layers. Again we realized the need for a second pair of binoculars as I spotted a pyrrhuloxia on the canyon side just before it hid behind a rock. As we neared the truck Renita heard a flock of scaled quail flush. We were able to spot them but didn’t get a good look, as they were running.
The last hike of the day was up Santa Elena Canyon. The trail guide said it was 1.7 miles but our gps said 2.3. Earlier we had hiked the first part of the trail but wanted to walk to the end, (we had the dog in the truck and dog’s aren’t allowed on park trails). We took our lunch, hiked to the end of the trail and sat down to eat it on a large rock, watching the Rio Grande flow past, (In a earlier blog, I talked about the border so I won’t say anything here.) There were a couple of men floating the canyon in their kayaks. Next time we must have a kayak or canoe! Clear skies.

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