February 17th, 2018

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?

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SK Lund



  1. Find me as a Meetup member too, at SC and HMG says:

    Steve– When I talked to the BLM lady in Taos, she said we could park anywhere we got to outside the locked gates. Also, news reported that the Rimrock Rose was transferred to BLM upon Zinke’s signature, so best look into that too. I think the Olguin loop is the most viable way down other than the road, and plan to test that within a month, but with a car shuttle on the roads.

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