The creek gets its name from Bluewater Lake which is upriver. I’ve never been there so I can’t vouch for whether the lake is blue, but the creek is not blue by any stretch.
Brown water creek would be more accurate. Much like every other river and stream I’ve seen in New Mexico, except maybe Sitting Bull Falls down near Carlsbad which is in an earlier post.
The waters, both lakes and streams, in New Mexico are mostly murky, silty, brown; but hey, water in the desert is a gift.
These waters are fast flowing and make pleasant babbling sounds here and there or louder rushing water sounds as they spill over rocks and ledges.
The trail crosses the stream at three points (maybe a fourth but the trail kind of gets lost at that point) and the engineers did not do a great job of placing nice flat rocks to walk on...so plan to have wet shoes if you cross the stream. Bring water, lunch, a walking stick, phone, camera.
The stream runs through a canyon with high rock cliffs on both sides in some areas. The contrast between the rocky cliffs, the desert plants, and the more lush vegetation and varied plant specimens along the river is very striking.
I was especially fascinated by the wide variety of vegetation and the fact that many of the plants are not seen very often in New Mexico. Some remind me of plants native to my New England woods.
The area along the river is a micro climate and micro botanical garden.
I am not a botanist but I will take a stab at naming a few of the plants we saw. There are dense stands of small willow trees, almost bamboo-like along the river. Along with the ubiquitous Junipers, some Piñon, a few species of Oak, wild Iris, Prickly Pear, Cholla, Maidenhair Fern, Dandelions, wild Verbena, etc.
Here are a few photos: (If I have mislabeled any or if you have a better description, please leave a comment and I will make corrections).
Click on photo to enlarge:
|Wild Roses (A Smaller Version of Cape Cod Rose)|
|Benni Fetching a Stick - Willow Along the Stream|
|Indian Paint Brush?|
|More Wild Geranium|
|I really want to know what kind of Juniper or Cedar or (?) has these yellow flowers|
|Unknown - These flowers are on a tree, similar to a Juniper|
(Readers suggested Mexican Cliffrose or Mesquite)
|Sad How People Can Ruin a Beautiful Spot - This came down off a cliff|
|Some Variety of Maple|
|Another Variety of Oak|
|Claret Cup Cactus - Certainly not too rare in New Mexico|
|I think this is Horsetail|
|A Display of Cholla Cactus|
|One of Three Crossings - Plan to get your shoes wet|