DESCRIPTION: Second time will be a charm. We will do it this time, hopefully with one car left at the main trailhead and another at the spot we used on 02/17. We will cross the Central Mesa to the entrance to Unnamed Canyon and complete the loop by thrashing through it down to Largo and back to the vehicle at the main trailhead.
MEET WHERE: Overflow parking lot at Agora Shopping Center in Eldorado. It’s right next to the grocery store. See map. Look for the Silver Xterra with the traffic cone next to it.
RSVP: Sign on by clicking on this event and making a comment. To change or remove your RSVP, just make another comment. This event requires 2 persons to go along with event host. A second vehicle would be great. Please make or change your RSVP by (12 hours before). Keep up with your email the night before and morning of the event to make sure there have been no changes and that the event is still on.
EVENT LOCATION: Sabinoso Wilderness approximately 37 miles East of Las Vegas
TYPE: Loop, partial exploratory
TERRAIN: Easy canyon walking, rough to extremely rough cross country with bushwhacking.
DISTANCE/ASCENT: 11 miles and 1800 feet.
CONDITIONS REQUIRED and EXPECTED: Dry weather 48 hours before event and dry forecast on event day. Incoming storms will postpone. High wind forecast will postpone.
Okay so the original plan was to park at the main trailhead, hike down Canon Largo and up the unnamed canyon, looping across the central mesa. After looking at the map some more, I figured the best way would be to park at a strategic location 3 miles from the main trailhead, hike across central mesa, and down the unnamed canyon. That way, if we had to back out, it would be a fairly short hike back to the cars.
After driving 2 hours, Jon wanted to make a day of it so we did the opposite. Hike to the main trailhead (should have drove), down Largo and up Unnamed. Canon Largo is beautiful, has abundant water, even in a drought year, and is an outstanding destination even if you drive from Santa Fe. Things were swell until we got to Unnamed. I knew it was going to be a serious bushwhack. I also knew that the 10 to 20 foot rock band that rings every canyon around here, would be a serious obstacle. It was 1:30 PM by the time we started up the canyon. A lot of time had been burnt and if we were wrong, we would be hiking back or bushwhacking in the dark.
The terrain up that canyon was fierce. I kept looking for a way up and past the rock face that separates lower from upper. I found what looked to be one and headed up. My spot looked great until I got up close and saw an 8 foot, class 5 crack climb. If the angle had been slightly less or just a bit shorter, we could have done it. So close but so far…
By this time it was 2:30 PM and it had taken us 60 minutes to go less than half a mile. Reluctantly we turned around and started the 7+ mile hike back to the truck arriving at 5:00 PM. Thus ends the first try on the Largo Unnamed Loop.
Some 411 on Sabinoso. We saw no one in the canyon. There was a couple parked at the trailhead and no one else. The access road is good to excellent and any passenger vehicle should be able to handle it in dry conditions. A couple was driving down it as we hiked back to the truck. Driving. It’s about 2 hours from Santa Fe or less depending upon how vehicles are in a group, bathroom breaks, etc. It took us 1:45 going up and 2:00 coming back. There is no cell service once you are a few miles away from Las Vegas.
Stats: 14.46 miles (because we did not do the loop) 1631 feet ascent, 6:42 hike time.
The Rimrock Rose Ranch, which was purchased by the Wyss Foundation and turned over to the Wilderness Land Trust, is still private property, and travel is limited to the wilderness access road. In other words, the ranch is not wilderness and is not currently not open to the public. That’s what I can figure out. If you know more, please let me know.
We have unfinished business. I want to go back and finish that loop. Next time a car shuttle would be good and we are going down canyon not up. Want to go with us?
It takes an hour and 15 minutes to get to the parking spot on rocky 4×4 roads and it’s only 14 miles from downtown. We were hiking on a grey, cloudy day with rain in the forecast for later that evening. You can bet we were paying attention to the weather because it’s a very long and muddy walk to a paved road.
The last time I was on this route was almost exactly 5 years ago and I had always wanted to go back. I even scheduled it several times in the various Meetups I had run but it always got cancelled due to weather. I did a different route this time in order to avoid a steep arroyo crossing but missed the cowboy camp because of it. Next time we’ll cross that arroyo. Meghan Hurley, SK Lund, Jon Blakey. 8.22 miles, 1116 feet ascent, 5 hours and 26 minutes hike time.
This hike passes through a major portion of the Cerro Grande fire of May 2000. We start from Los Alamos and hike up into the Jemez Mountains. It intersects with the Pipeline Road. We continued on the Quemazon for another mile or so in order to climb one of the local peaks. All of the hills and peaks in this area have been covered by a dense cover of wild rose and aspen. The rose bushes are impassable rendering any cross country journey out of the question. We came down Pipeline eventually to the intersection of the Perimeter Trail and back to the trail head. Martin Adair, Jon Blakey, SK Lund. 7.68 miles, 1932 feet ascent, 4:30.
The first time I saw Peak 7463 was two years ago while climbing nearby Sierra Negra. That dune, shining in the late afternoon really grabbed attention and did not let go. I’m not the first. Georgia O’keeffe painted here. Ansel Adams almost missed a shot nearby. You know the one, “Moonrise, Hernandez New Mexico”.
The difficulty of this mountain is the route finding. The area is extremely complex geographically, making approaches difficult. It took two tries and many hours staring at a map to determine a route that would work. From then on it was just finding the time.
On other trips in this area, a lot of time and effort was spent slogging through arroyo sand and wasting time in the rincons. I knew that we would take too long on approach so I determined to find a way that keeps us out of the sand. By getting up on the mesas. we could make better time and have better views as well. The problem with that idea is that the mesas are as complicated as the rest of the terrain around here so more map staring was required.
After a couple more practice hikes using this method, we gave it a go yesterday and were successful. The hike and climb were everything I thought it would be with just enough doubt to make it really interesting. About that Dune Mountain part, it truly is a mountain, not a peak.. It stands geographically apart from its neighbors as a mountain should. Add in the dune to seal the deal. That’s I’d tell the USGS if they’d listen.
We were myself, Jon Blakey, Nancy King, Jim Podesta. Ted Harsha and Pesta joined us for part of the trip. Stats were 10.1 miles, 2027 feet ascent, and hike time of 7 hours.
It’s Blue Trail not Blue John. I was daydreaming about Utah when I wrote up the trip…Hikers were SK Lund, Jon Blakey, and Judy Graham. We went up to Cerro Grande first in melt out snow which go a bit heavier in the summit. No spikes were required. We followed that section with Blue trail. Most excellent views from the summit. Expect other trips in this area since I now have the lay of the land. 6.5 miles, 1520 feet, 3:42.
This event was co-listed with the SWEL MeetUp which is why you see the large number of people on it. We had a fantastic day and I was able to do a route that I had planned on for a long time. Diane M, Nancy King, and myself and some folks who are members of both this group and SWEL were there also.