I really wanted to hike Three Gun trail this afternoon. It was pretty warm when I got to the trailhead but there were a few snow flurries. It looked as if they were from a passing storm that would blow over. Soon, I thought.

Mountain Mahogany with Snowflakes

Mountain Mahogany with Snowflakes

The flurries kept coming down here and there, and sure enough, when I started going up the switchbacks they got more intense. I kept going and so did the flurries. Finally, when I was on the steepest part of the trail — the part where I knew I was almost at the junction with Embudo — the snow started sticking. I took a few photos, one of mountain mahogany with a few flakes clinging to the seeds (above), and another of a fallen log with a bit of snow.

Snow on a Fallen Log

Snow on a Fallen Log

I figured I still didn’t have to turn around and I was right. Just as I was topping out, a weak sun appeared and the clouds began to clear.

Junction of Three Gun and Embudo Trails

Junction of Three Gun and Embudo Trails

On the way down, I finally understood why the mountains often seem so green in the winter and early spring, before anything could possibly be growing there. It’s because of the new growth on the conifers, not the (nonexistent) undergrowth.

New Growth

New Growth

The clouds continued to clear as I made my way back down to the trailhead.

Looking South from Three Gun Trail

Looking South from Three Gun Trail

Southern Sandia Mountains

Southwestern Sandia Mountains