Dec 11, 2016
This hike begins in Ghost Ranch, at the end of the road into Box Canyon. Our topo map showed an unnamed and unnumbered trail out of Ghost Ranch and through the USFS property up to the mesa. I had doubts about this “trail” but decided to give it a try.
The hike begins at the Kitchen Mesa and Box Canyon trail head in Ghost Ranch. We were disoriented at the start due to the severe side cutting and erosion in the canyon. The creek was frozen over and hiking was tricky. After crossing into forest service land, it became clear that there was no route here. Severe bushwhacking and evidence of crazy steep and rough terrain ahead convinced us that there wasn’t a route or trail.
Our Plan B was to hike one of the tourist routes so we chose Chimney Rock. We did that and when we topped out, it appeared to me that the best way to Montosa massif was from the Chimney Rock viewing area. I went ahead of the other guys to check out this possibility. I found a social trail leading in the direction I wanted to go. Later examination of the area on Google Earth confirmed that this is the direction I want. Next time I will use this route to get up to the massif. I still do not have a route to the mesa top….still working on that.
After I got home, I went looking for more route information and found the following link. Santa Fe Walk About’s apparently did it by the planned route in 2013. I guess at some point, I’ll get it another try by this one as well.
Thanks to Ken and Tom for coming with me.