To celebrate my birthday we decided to take a family trip to Taos, New Mexico. We had the most amazing experience hiking with llamas in the mountains! Trekking with llamas was a once in a lifetime experience! Our llama adventure was so unique, fun and whimsical! Llamas are so cute and to have our very own llama hiking buddy was pure joy! We all thoroughly enjoyed the day and it is definitely a memorable experience we will never forget!
Just to warn you this post contains tons of photos. I couldn’t help myself, I had the camera around my neck and snapped away, but it was totally worth it to remember this special experience. 🙂
So the company is called Wild Earth Llama Adventures and the day hike we went on is called “Take a Llama to Lunch”. It is a family business and one that is absolutely amazing. They rescue llamas from various places such as from people who wanted exotic pets and a lot of them come to them feral. The llamas live on 12 acres. The company has about 30 llamas and 15 of them go on the llama treks through the wilderness and all of the trekking llamas are males. It is funny because, Stuart our guide, said that the boys will strut around in front of the females after they come home from the days adventure, lol.
We woke up from our hotel and had a wonderful warm breakfast of scrambled eggs, potatoes, coffee and fruit. We drove up to Red River, New Mexico at the Columbine Campground where the trail began which was about a 40 minute drive from our hotel.
Usually these day hikes consist of 10-15 people, so we were surprised to see only three llamas at the site. It was awesome because our group for the day only consisted of Thomas, Mila and I and a woman from New York named Liz.
From left to right is Mardi Gras (Mardi for short), Thor, and Diego. Mardi was my hiking buddy, Thor was Thomas and Mila’s, and Diego was Liz’s. Diego led the pack, while Thomas and Mila were in the middle and Mardi and I were at the end. We made sure Mila was in the middle for safety reasons as he did say that bear and cougars are in the area. Stuart is the owner and guide and he did such a great job teaching us along the way. He was very friendly and knowledgeable about a lot of stuff. We learned about the area and safety information before we headed out. We also got to get acquainted with the llamas by feeding them snacks out of our hands and petting them. They only liked to be pet on the neck. What sweet animals they were with cute personalities!
Here is Diego, Mila and Thomas. We arrived at 10 am and it was rather cold out. So we all bundled up and wore hats and Mila wore a hat and gloves. (Mila’s hat is a size 6 months and still fits her at 9 months and is so adorable, it’s my favorite hat of hers.)
I wasn’t sure what the hike would be like on the llama adveture, so we agreed for safety reasons Thomas would wear Mila because he is stronger than me and more sure footed. Plus it was super cute to have them bond and spend time together on the trail. It also worked out that I wore the camera and was able to take all of these photos. (Mila’s baby carrier is Ergobaby in teal, we love it!)
As our adventure began, the llamas were excited for the buffet of food availabe for them to eat on the trail. Stuart said they all choose the food based on the medicinal qualities. Here Mardi is snacking. He enjoyed snacking the entire day, as they all did lol.
It was the perfect blue sky day and the trail was beautiful! There was lots of trees with the leaves changing colors, rivers and beauty around every corner.
Along the trail we took water and snack breaks. I changed and fed Mila too so that worked out well. Above Thomas is getting something from our backpack. Thor carried two of our backpacks one on each side of him. My llama hiking buddy, Mardi, carried all of the food for lunch for the group.
|Beautiful blue skies + leaves changing color + sunshine all day + llamas = the best hiking.|
|Mardi and I.|
|Mardi finding snacks.|
It was pretty fun to see the llamas cross the rivers. We just threw the rope over their backs and steered them towards the river, as we all crossed over the wooden bridges. This hike was so serene. The entire way up there was no one on the hike but the five of us and the three llamas. On the way down we did run into a few people including some people horseback riding. They were kind of spooked by the llamas so we waited for the horses to pass. Some people were surprised to see us with llamas and some of the dogs didn’t know what to think, haha.
|Llama river crossing.|
|The llamas are just too cute.|
Mila was amused by Thor the entire day. As Thomas hiked with her, she would look back at Thor. Thor was the baby of the group of llamas and was still getting used to trekking with humans so he would make a nervous sound, poor guy. Mila would talk to him, so they both were babbling at each other, it was really adorable.
|Fall is my favorite season. Trees are so beautiful at all times of the year but especially during Fall.|
It really did feel like we were Hobbits in Lord of the Rings, hiking up the mountain with donkeys but in our case llamas. 🙂
Mardi found some medicinal medicine in the form of wild parsley. I would get a whiff of whatever he was eating and it smelled so good.
We took various short breaks throughout the hike and it was fun taking photos of the llamas on their breaks.
As the day progressed the sun came out and we no longer needed all of our layers including our hats. Mila was so peaceful on the journey. She is such an awesome baby, so relaxed and adventurous. She didn’t cry once and even was fine during the diaper changes in the woods. I think she really loves being in nature. I look forward to all of the many outdoor adventures that are ahead as she grows up. 🙂
|The llamas crossing another river.|
|It was a gorgeous day!|
|The peaceful river.|
When I look at this photo of Mila and I, I feel like I look so grown up. I am a mamma now and it is such a beautiful thing to have a child and to love her so unconditionally, it is a privilege being her parents and the sweetest blessing. Our lives are so much more complete having her in it. 🙂
I had just finished nursing Mila in the photo above. I’m so thankful everything worked out with diaper changes and feeding her. If there were more people on the hike with us that day, it might have been more challenging so I was so happy it all worked out so well.
This is Mila’s favorite way to be held that her daddy does so well. We also busted out Mila’s sunhat too during the adventure.
We arrived at the meadow to have our lunch and it was so beautiful, a nice open space.
|Mardi and his many faces.|
We tied up the llamas on trees and they took a lunch break too.
Mardi and the boys were happy to lie down.
Lunch was amazing! We had gourmet sandwiches with all kinds of fixings. Turkey, cheese, yummy gluten free bread, pesto, cream cheese, avocado, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, amazing potato salad and much more! It was all so delicious. I forgot to take a photo of my sandwich, but below is a photo of my second helping of food which was a salad after the sandwich. Mila was able to crawl around on the grass too and I was able to feed her some avocado from my lunch.
With some of my birthday money I bought an Instax camera, which is basically a modern day Poloroid camera. Thankfully it arrived right before we left for our trip. It was fun snapping photos during lunch in the meadow. Some of them were too dark or too bright but some of them came out great. It was special to have an instant photo during our trip! The film breaks down to be about .60 cents a photo, which isn’t bad considering we got immediate physical photos that capture our experience and serve as wonderful memories.
We brought Mila’s llama stuffed animal and thought it would be pretty darn cute to capture a photo of Mila with her toy and a real llama. Mardi said he wasn’t really feeling photogenic at the moment but we still got a cute photo of them anyway. 🙂
Mila was so adorable in this photo, she went to grab Thor’s harness and took a hold of it on her own during the photo. I love this little family of mine! 🙂
After lunch it was time to hike back down. Mardi and I were at the end of the group and while hiking I tried snapping selfies of us. This was the best one I could get lol.
I love these photos of the llamas in the Aspen trees! During our hike it was fun to learn about the wild herbs in the area, such as rosehips, parsley, and about firs and spruce trees. Stuart, our guide, was a really genuine nice person who had similar interests as us. He knew about the negative effects of fluoride in tap water and he too cloth diapered his children. We were in good company during our adventure.
The llamas hair was so soft and it was nice to be able to pet them on the neck. They are sweet animals that definitely have gentle spirits and their own personalities. Mardi was carefree and persistent with eating snacks, he was an awesome llama, and I was blessed to be able to spend the day hiking among the llamas with my family.
Once we got back to our vehicles we fed the llamas some treats and then said our goodbyes. It was such an amazing day and experience, truly a one in a lifetime experience! Though I hope we can go back someday and do this hike again, probably when Mila is old enough to have her own llama hiking buddy by her side.
I highly recommend checking out Wild Earth Llama Adventures if you are ever in Taos, New Mexico! Hands down it was such a fun experience that my family and I will always treasure! The llamas, the scenery, the food, the atmosphere, everything all amounted to such a beautiful experience and memories!