align-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcamerachatcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-crosscrosseditfacebookglobegoogleimagesinstagramlocation-pinmagnifying-glassmailmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1outlookpersonplusImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartwitteryahoo

Weekend Backpacking Trip into the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Study Area

  • Jun 14, 2013 · 9:00 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the beginning half of hike #33 described in the book 50 Hikes In Northern New Mexico.  It starts out from Columbine Campground heading south along Columbine Creek on Trail 71.  Then it goes east on Placer Fork along Trail 72.  Finally it follows Trail 104 southeast along the Willow Fork.  "At 6.3 miles you enter the bottom end of a fantastic basin.  The headwaters of Willow Fork carve a line through an open grass and wildflower zone...This is an ideal location for an overnight campsite."

From this campsite it is a strenuous 1.9 miles to the summit of Gold Hill (12711 ft).

You can download a pdf file of the trip description by hovering your mouse cursor over “More” on the Meetup page tool bar and selecting “Files”.

We will camp Friday night at the trailhead and camp along the trail Saturday night.

Please Note: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed Waiver & Release form on file with us. This waiver covers all trips and activities so you only need to sign it once. If you have not already signed this form it can be downloaded from our "Files" section and turned in to the organizer when you arrive for the trip.

Trip Dates: June 14 (Friday evening) thru June 16 (Sunday hike out)

Drive Time to Trailhead/Camp Area on Friday Night: 3 hours from ABQ

Campground/Trailhead Location: Columbine Campground off of NM 38.  Campground fee is $17/Site, $5.00 extra vehicle fee.

Directions to Camp Area/Trailhead: Drive to Questa.  From the intersection of NM 522 and NM 38 in Questa, turn onto NM 38 heading towards Red River. Travel 5.2 miles on NM 38 to the Columbine Campground on the right side of the road.

Trip Rating: Moderate to Strenuous

Trail Length: 6.3 miles Saturday, 6.3 miles Sunday (12.6 miles total)

Elevation Gain: about 3050 ft

Elevation: 7950 ft at Columbine Campground and about 11,000 ft at the headwaters of Willow Fork

Expected Temps: Highs 60's, lows in upper 30's to 40's

 Link to Willow Fork Weather Forecast

Dogs Allowed

Contact Eric Krosche with any questions

Join or login to comment.

  • Beth

    Excellent trip with really nice folks. Beautiful high mountain environment and a spectacular view from Gold Hill. Thanks everyone for the helpful, cooperative, fun atmosphere (and all the great gear tips)!

    1 · June 17, 2013

  • Eric K.

    Could not ask for more: great new and old friends, remote locations, forest, streams, moss, ferns, rain, the alpine, a summit, a campfire, cool temperatures, wildlife, laughter, and Terri.

    1 · June 17, 2013

  • Terri

    It was so nice to have the moisture (rivers/rain/hail) and to enjoy the beautiful scenery that goes with it. This was a really great group of people to backpack with. Thanks for sharing the adventure!

    June 17, 2013

  • Keith F.

    It was good to see everyone, so I'll ignore the red buttons. Hope to share the trails with you again soon.

    June 17, 2013

  • Keith F.

    Mellisa was delivered safely to her house and Craig and I returned home safely to ABQ. Our hike out was wonderful in spite of the soreness. I will post photos.

    June 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for the pick up and return. It was a fun time doing some extra hiking with you and Craig.

      June 17, 2013

    • Keith F.

      Thanks for joining us. You're an excellent hiking partner.

      1 · June 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great trip with a wonderful group of people for this one. And the views and scenery were amazing. Wish we could have staid out longer.

    June 17, 2013

  • Stephanie L.

    Hi Everyone,
    I had a fantastic time and very much enjoyed meeting each of you. Thank you for having me and see you soon, I hope.

    1 · June 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      hi Stephanie, it was great to meet you. Keep me posted on the overnight. Like I told Z I always have Sundays off and would be more than happy just to hike.

      June 17, 2013

  • Z

    I had an awesome trip and adventure with a great group. Loved it! I'm hooked. Thanxs for every ones help!I made it home

    1 · June 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Glad you had a blast! It only gets better :-D

      June 17, 2013

  • Z

    Looks like everyone has plans to partner up for rides. So I'll drive up with me and my girls (dogs) and meet you guys at the campsite at around 5:30/6. I can bring firewood too.

    June 11, 2013

  • Keith F.

    It seem likely that Craig, Melissa and I will arrive at the campground first. I think I will use my pass to get a campsite within the campground since it will allow us to have a campfire. If anyone driving directly there wants to bring wood that would be great. My cost will only be $8.50 for the site if anyone wants to chip in a little. There is potable water available there to get us started Saturday morning also. Of course, this assumes there is a site available. Campfires are not allowed except inside a developed recreation site in grills and stoves provided by the Forest Service. :)

    June 10, 2013

  • Craig

    Driving myself alone to and fro 320 miles seems like a waste of resources. Is there carpooling interest from ABQ? Stephanie/Melissa? Others? My vehicle could fit 4 to 5. I could also play passenger, if there's a more efficient option.

    June 8, 2013

    • Craig

      My map agrees with Keith's map. I'll probably head out Friday with two liters of water, planning to purify more along the trail. On Saturday, if I take the route over Gold Hill into camp (as opposed to passing camp, going up Gold Hill, and then backtracking), much of the trail is above treeline, so I'd probably be inclined to carry three liters.

      June 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I will bring my filter.

      June 10, 2013

  • Z

    + 2 dogs

    June 10, 2013

  • Stephanie L.

    I ma not able to leave town before Friday afternoon. I don't mind meeting you all at Columbine campground around 6PM.

    June 10, 2013

    • Keith F.

      Darn, Stephanie, we'll miss you and your fluffy dog. See you at Columbine CG.

      June 10, 2013

    • Eric K.

      Terri and I will be leaving Albuquerque after work on Friday, perhaps around 5 PM. We will arrive at the campground around 8 PM.

      June 10, 2013

  • Brian

    sorry, i don't know how or why i was considered attending.

    June 8, 2013

    • Eric K.

      Why wouldn't you consider attending?

      June 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So, again, if anyone could pick me up in Santa Fe on the way I am happy to help with gas and vehicle fees.

    June 7, 2013

    • Stephanie L.

      I am in, Melissa! Lets talk during the week so I pick you up on Friday. Tel[masked]

      1 · June 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Will do, I don't work Friday so I am free to go whenever is convenient for you. My phone is[masked]

      June 7, 2013

  • Keith F.

    Cool. This is a trip I had on my agenda to plan at the beginning of the season.

    June 7, 2013

  • Stephanie L.

    Eric, thanks for initiative "Plan B"! I have never been on that trail. Is there water on the way?

    June 7, 2013

    • Eric K.

      We will be hiking along Columbine Creek, Placer Fork and Willow Fork so there should be plenty of water. The spring run off should still be strong up there as well.

      June 7, 2013

8 went

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy