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New Meetup: Cruces Basin Wilderness Backpacking Trip (Memorial Day Weekend)

From: Jon
Sent on: Monday, March 1, 2010 12:26 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The New Mexico Backpackers Meetup Group!

What: Cruces Basin Wilderness Backpacking Trip (Memorial Day Weekend)

When: Friday, May 28,[masked]:00 PM

Cruces Basin Wilderness
Carson National Forest
Tres Piedras, NM 87577

This extended weekend trip will take us to the Cruces Basin Wilderness near the Colorado border. This is a little used area with broad, grass covered valleys and gentle slopes in the 8,600 ft to 10,900 ft range. Several trout streams wind through the valleys with occasional rock outcroppings and stands of aspen, fir and spruce. There are no designated trails in the wilderness, so we will use some of the game and fisherman trails that run along the streams and over the ridges to complete our 9 mile round trip. We will be crossing multiple streams approximately knee-deep along our hike, so be prepared to get your feet wet. We will hike in and set up a base camp on Saturday close to a large series of waterfalls, and we'll be able to day hike and explore much of the wilderness on Sunday. We will camp at a primitive campground on Friday night near the trailhead, and begin backpacking Saturday morning at 11:00 am. We usually start hiking by 10:00am, but this will give people who can't leave on Friday time to meet us on Saturday morning.

Please Note: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed 2010 Waiver & Release form on file with us. This waiver covers all trips and activities for 2010, so you only have to sign it once this year. 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

The deadline for changing a "Yes" RSVP to a "No" RSVP is May 14

Trip Dates: May 28 (Friday evening) thru May 31 (hike out Monday)

Drive Time to Primitive Campground (for Friday night): 4 hours

Directions to Primitive Campground/Trailhead: Take I-25 north to Santa Fe and exit onto St Francis Dr which is also US 84/285 (exit #282). Take US 84/285 north thru Espanola. (Note: US 84/285 becomes State Route 68 in Espanola if don't make the left turn to continue on US 84/285.) Soon after you pass Espanola, US 84 and 285 diverge -- keep right to stay on 285. After this, you will continue 47 miles to Tres Piedras. Continue on US 285 and travel about 11 miles to Forest Rd 87 and turn left. This is a long gravel road that is passable to passenger vehicles when dry, but can be impassable in certain spots after a heavy rain. Follow FR 87 approximately 22 miles. Pass the turnoff for FR 87A after 21 miles, keep going straight, and a mile further look for FR 572 and turn right (heading uphill). The sign for FR 572 is small and missing some numbers, although it is still readable up close. This is a rather rough road, but again a carefully driven passenger car can make it when dry, although any 2WD will most likely get stuck if there has been rain. This road dead ends at the primitive camp, trailhead and wilderness information sign, where we will park and set up our tents for Friday night.

Trip Rating: Easy to Moderate

Trail Length: 9 mile backpacking loop with additional mileage for day hiking

Elevation Range: 9,250 ft to 9,900 ft (with day hike could be up to 10,900)

Expected Temps: Highs 60 to 70, Lows 35 to 45

Vehicles with AWD or 4WD are highly recommended

Dogs Allowed

Notice: Do not use the map/info link for directions as it is incorrect

*Please contact Jon with any questions or if you would rather meet us at the trailhead Saturday morning by 11:00 am.

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