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New Meetup: Weekend Backpacking (Snowshoeing/Skiing) Trip to Enchanted Forest

From: Jon
Sent on: Monday, November 22, 2010 5:49 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The New Mexico Backpackers Meetup Group!

What: Weekend Backpacking (Snowshoeing/Skiing) Trip to Enchanted Forest

When: Friday, January 21,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Enchanted Forest
Millers Crossing 417 West Main St
Red River, NM 87558

This backpacking trip will lead us into the Enchanted Forest, which is 3 miles East of Red River. There should be between several inches and a couple feet of snow along the length of the trail, and we will camp out on the snow, in the trees, a little ways off the trail. This trip will require the use of snowshoes, and we will take the winding trails through beautiful forest to areas with views of the Latir Wilderness, Gold Hill and Wheeler Peak.

Warning, due to winter conditions this trip is not for beginners or people who have no winter camping experience. There is the very real possibility of extreme cold, heavy snows and strong winds. All Yes RSVP's are subject to the organizer's approval.

There is an outhouse available at the trailhead, but there will be no facilities for the remainder of the trip. Because there is not a great area near the cars to camp on Friday night, we will have to backpack in about 2.5 miles on Friday to get to a good site and set up camp. Therefore, we will head out on the trail no later than 2:15pm. If you arrive late there will not be an easy way to find our specific camp site. On Saturday morning we will day hike 3+ miles along moderate terrain, passing views of Gold Hill and Wheeler Peak. Our elevation at the trailhead is 9800 feet and our campsite is at almost 10,000 feet, but we will lose and gain elevation frequently during the trip.

Anyone who wants to XC ski with us instead of snowshoe is welcome to do so, but the backcountry trail we are following is not groomed, so you will be breaking a new ski trail. Also, going uphill on skis with a heavy pack will be extremely difficult and may require skins.

There will be no running water, so you must bring and carry all the water you need for the trip (unless you want to day hike back to the trailhead on Saturday to replenish your water). Take precautions to avoid having your water freeze, especially overnight. Don't bring too little water -- dehydration can be a contributing factor to hypothermia.

To get to the trailhead, head North on I-25 to Santa Fe. Take either the Relief Route or St Francis to head North on 285/84. When you get to Espanola, stay to the right and the road turns into 68. Follow 68 to Taos, and as you continue North through Taos the road turns into 64. Follow 64 for about 4 miles, then take the middle fork to continue onto 522 (64 veers left, 150 veers right). Follow 522 for 20 miles, and then turn right onto 38 when you get to Questa. You will pass Red River after 13 miles, and continue on 38 toward Eagle Nest. After 3 miles you will see a large brown sign that says "Enchanted Forest". Turn right 200 feet past the sign, just past the mile 16 post sign, onto a snow-covered road. Follow signs to parking lot. When we first arrive at Enchanted Forest, each of us will have to pay a fee of $30 for the weekend for trail use.

Please Note: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed 2011 Waiver & Release form on file with us. This waiver covers all trips and activities for 2011, 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.

Please read our RSVP Policy located in our "About" section.

4WD will be necessary to get to the trailhead.

Deadline for changing a "Yes" RSVP to a "No" RSVP is January 7

Trip dates: January 21 (Friday hike in) thru January 23 (Sunday hike out)

Drive time to Friday night camp: 3 hours, 30 minutes from Albuquerque

Difficulty Rating: Moderate

Trail length: 2.5 miles Friday, 3+ mile day hike Saturday, 2.5 miles Sunday

Elevation Gain: 200 feet

Expected Highs: low to upper 30's

Expected Lows: 0 to 10 degrees

Please note there is a $30 trail fee for the weekend.

Dogs are not allowed in this area of the Enchanted Forest.

Please contact Jon with any questions.

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