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Manzano Peak from the West (Strenuous, Exploratory)

  • Feb 16, 2013 · 6:30 AM
  • REI

Hike revised 2/8/13

The plan is to hike from the Monte Largo trailhead on the west side of the Manzano Mtns all the way to Manzano Peak. There are some trails in the lower canyon area on the way to Monte Largo spring.  We'll work our way up the canyon and look for a route to the crest (at just under 10k ft elevation, making it at least 4k ft elevation gain). Trails (if we find them) are likely to be in poor condition. Total hike distance probably less than 10 miles.

I uploaded a topo from Google maps with what I think is the route from last time.

The drive is about 60 miles with 11 miles of dirt road at the end.  Would not be ideal for passenger cars (except maybe Subaru).

Upper elevations will likely have some snow, so please bring appropriate clothing (gaiters, boots) and a traction device (micro-spikes), in case we meet ice or snow.

A while back we did this as a Meetup hike and hiked all the way to Manzano Peak. While I was able to locate the trailhead (see photo), I don't remember the exact route.  I will have topo maps, but if someone brings a GPS that would be a good backup plan.

If you have the book "60 hikes within 60 miles" this hike is based on #49 (Monte Largo Canyon), although we would go a lot further to get to the crest.

View from trailhead.

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  • Oscar

    Strenuous? Check. Exploratory? Check. Good living, an honest hike, great views, and great company? Check, check and double check :-)

    February 17, 2013

  • Brian

    Murphy, we will meet at REI and carpool from there to the TH (About 60 miles).

    February 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is there anyone willing to put me up in a carpool?

    February 12, 2013

  • Donald

    I afraid I will not be able to make this hike after all. Thanks,
    Don

    February 12, 2013

  • Keith F.

    Brian you should call the ranger station. They close most of the forest service roads in that area during the winter.

    February 5, 2013

    • Brian

      This is on the west side, so roads may not be closed in winter.

      February 5, 2013

    • Keith F.

      Well, I read west but in my mind I was thinking east. I have heard a lot of horror stories about vandalism on the west side so I have ignored that side completely.

      February 5, 2013

  • Brian

    I called the ranger station and they confirmed that access to JFK campground was blocked (landowner has locked the gate on the private road to get there). I will check out Monte Largo canyon access to see if I can find the trailhead.

    February 5, 2013

  • Rich B.

    Brian, if the road to Capilla peak were open(I doubt if it is,especially in the winter), you can do a large loop south on the crest trail and descend either the Osha or Trigo trail and coming back up the other.

    For an even longer loop, and a very nice on to do in the fall for colors is to start at Trail Canyon on the east side, climb to the crest, descend Commanche Canyon, hike south along the foothills to either Trigo or Osha, back to the crest, then north past Osha and Capilla peaks, then back down to Trail canyon for close to an 18 mile loop.

    Technically the Trigo Trail was officially closed some years ago to prevent disturbance of an endangered species, possible a peregrine falcon nesting in the canyon.

    February 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I was up there in Sept 2012. No access to Trigo via JFK, hasn't been for years. Some access roads on east side closed for post-fire resource protection. Call the rangers for info.

    February 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I work on Sat's.

    February 5, 2013

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