I know people stack up waiting their turns to get into the "big" parks - Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Glacier, etc - and I am eagerly awaiting seeing those parks. However,  it is amazing how nice some of the smaller state parks are, how inspiring and grand they can be.  

Cimarron Canyon doesn't feel small at all.  And after spending a hot fall in northern Texas it was wonderfully refreshing to step out alongside this mountain stream and stare at these rock faces for a while.

We come out on US 64 from I25 heading toward Taos.  You wind through the Canyon and there is a rushing mountain stream running along with the road.  A lot of great quiet spots to pull over for a hike, a camp, some photos, or to walk the canine family member.  Once you leave Cimarron you climb to the aptly named Eagle Nest Lake and it is indeed a sparkling sapphire as you come down into the meadow.  The town is a sweet little tourist town but was closing up as we passed through in October.  On to Angel Fire, what looks to be a very lovely ski area.  Angel Fire is up over 8,000 ft and Old Stinkey is chugging a bit.  From Angel Fire we take a narrow mountain path to Coyote Creek and breathe that sigh of relief and relaxation.  It's a special spot and the drive up here is one of the best.