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Topic: Taos, NM backpacking ideas (for June)< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 8:44 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi all -

My wife and I are heading to the Taos, NM area the 3rd week in June and are looking for some backpacking ideas.  Hot springs are always a bonus.  Any help would be much appreciated.

As a side, is the singletrack in the area worth lugging our bikes along?  Is there any good top-roped climbing in the area?

Thanks!


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 11:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wheeler Pk is the big draw but there's a wilderness study area right next to it too. A lot of multi-sport options.  There's plenty of mountainbiking all through NM, so TaosCyclery MTB trails page

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2013, 12:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Taos is a great place. Backpacking-wise, there's Wheeler Peak Wilderness (Wheeler Peak is at least worth a day hike) and Latir Peak Wilderness. In my opinion, the best scenery in the state is found hiking up Rio Santa Barbara into the Pecos Wilderness - that's worth a few nights or a week of backpacking.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2013, 3:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There's rafting type stuff in the Rio Grande gorge area as well (I know there's rafting companies in Santa Fe and pretty sure there's some in Taos as well).

Hot springs?  A commercial one by Jemez, but could be a bit out of your way.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2013, 4:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks guys!  What is the weather generally like that time of year?  Still snow in the passes?  

Any map suggestions for Pecos?


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2013, 6:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cadesun @ Feb. 09 2013, 2:08 pm)
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Thanks guys!  What is the weather generally like that time of year?  Still snow in the passes?  

Any map suggestions for Pecos?

Might be a tad bit of snow lingering but it's south of Colorado, so dryness will likely be the order of the day late June (right before the rainy monsoon season typically starts).

The FS map of the Pecos wilderness is fine IMO since you need to stay on trail in almost all New Mexico wilderness areas.  The main trails are well-signed and the Santa Fe-area locals keep on the FS to do maintenance on the major trails.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 10 2013, 11:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah the forest is just so thick you can't go cross-country like is so popular in CA. But there are huge meadows above treeline where the trail isn't necessary. Snow won't be an issue then but you may get some afternoon thunderstorms.

Here's the map. You'll hate how big it is if you have to pull it out on top of a windy ridge, but you'll love studying it at home before the trip.

http://www.nationalforeststore.com/merchan....y_Code=

There are several hot springs in NM, but I suggest asking the native hippies & mystics when you get there. Taos is just so delightfully weird.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 10:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A buddy and I tried to go up Wheeler from the Taos side on Memorial Day a few years ago, and lost the trail in deep snow at about 11,500'. So depending on the snow this year, you may or may not be able to get around. The bighorns are all hanging the the canyon between Red River and Questa, so that makes me think the snow might be pretty big in the Latirs. Even in a big snow year, you could probably get up from TSV and overnight at Bull of the Woods and LaCal Basin. Or you could probably still do Middle Fork Lake and Lost Lake from the Red River side. And Red River is delightfully normal.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 16 2013, 11:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Most of the highlights around Taos have been covered here: Wheeler Peak and Latir Peak Wildernesses. One more area immediately adjacent to Taos is the Columbine-Hondo WSA. It is as big as the to aforementioned wilderness areas combined and has some great scenery. I once did a trip that started at Williams lake, climbed Wheeler and then looped around to the Columbine Hondo and hit Goose Lake. It was a pretty nice trip. If you are OK with some elevation gain and cross-country travel, you can even include the lakes on the east side of Wheeler. Horseshoe is the best of them.

One other area near Taos that warrants attention, albeit for dayhiking, is the Wild Rivers area to the north. This includes the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Red River. You can hike down into the canyon and camp at some primitive sites too.

All that said, the best backpacking in northern New Mexico (well, ALL of New Mexico, though the Gila and White Mountains are good runners up) is in the Pecos Wilderness. Some of it is heavily used but I have been to the east side rim, where there are lots of lakes but the terrain is level and open, and I have never seen anyone but bighorn sheep. The place is abandoned. Of course, the Truchas Peaks are the most rugged spot in the entire state...


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 4:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

San Antronio Hotsprings used to be really awesome but local hooligans have made it unsavory IMO. Lots of stories of cars getting broken into. Spence is pretty good if you don't hit it with a hippie tour bus convoy. JEmez Falls is a nice dayhike, some warm springs in the area. Mcauley is nice, not terribly warm though. LikeSoaking at Arroyo Hondo ["Blackrock"] Hot Springs is a blast if the river isn't flooding them. If its not terribly windy I like car camping nearby there on the West Rim. I see people climbing the rhyolite in the gorge on the Rio Hondo. I swim in the River just upstream from the Bridge.

Wild Rivers is great. Spend a night at one of the Riverside Shelters, I like Big Arsenic with the petroglyphs not far away at all. La Junta Point too. The ones in between are too close to the trail for me. Cebolla Mesa can be less crowded than the Wild Rivers Rimside shelters. Not singletrack but the old rim two tracks can be fun.

If you want a good car camp with an awesome 13er think West Spanish Peak, CO. Great Sand Dunes are just a 1.5 hour drive North. Hiking South Zapata Lake just south of the Dunes is AWESOME. Great overnight, or tow for you. Twin Peaks are fun. Conejos Falls in the South san Juan is great.


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