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Exploratory Backpacking Trip to Gold Hill & Wheeler Peak

From: Jon
Sent on: Monday, April 26, 2010 2:10 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The New Mexico Backpackers Meetup Group!

What: Exploratory Backpacking Trip to Gold Hill & Wheeler Peak

When: Friday, June 4,[masked]:00 PM

Trailhead for Wheeler Peak
Taos Ski Area
Eagle Nest, NM 87718

This exploratory trip will determine the best place to set up camp for the 4th of July Wheeler Peak trip and will also determine the feasibility of hiking to a water source for the June 25th Gold Hill trip. We will of course bag both peaks and a couple others while we are there. Wheeler Peak is the highest peak in New Mexico at 13,161 feet, and Gold Hill sits at 12,711 feet. Due to the great snow season we had this year, there may still be enough snow in early June for snowshoes to come in handy on parts of the trails, so consider strapping a pair to your pack.

We will car camp Friday night at La Sombra Campground (there is a $5 fee), and camp Saturday at the Bull of the Woods pasture, which is two miles in on Trail 90. From there we will day hike to Gold Hill, pausing on the way to hike down to a small lake located alongside the trail, down a steep slope. We will then head back to camp and stay the night. We will start hiking to Wheeler Peak early on Sunday morning, returning in late afternoon to pack up our camp and head back to the cars.

Please Note: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed 2010 Waiver & Release Form on file with us. This covers all trips and activities for 2010, so you only have 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.

If you RSVP Yes for this trip please plan on attending. Please read our "RSVP" Policy located in our "About" section.

Drive time to trailhead: 3 hours, 15 minutes from Albuquerque

Directions to Friday night campground: Head North on I25 to Santa Fe, and take the St. Francis exit, heading North. This will put you on US 285/84, and you will stay on this road to Espanola. While in Espanola, the road turns into NM 68 if you keep going straight - stay on NM 68, rather than turning left to continue on 84/285. In Taos, the road turns into NM 64W, but at this point make a right turn onto NM 64E, and continue on this road for 2.1 miles to a stop sign at a "T" intersection. Turn right onto NM 64/Enchanted Circle and go 4.8 miles to La Sombra campground on right. There are facilities at the campground, but no water.

Directions to Saturday trailhead: From La Sombra Campground, return to the "T" intersection and head NW on NM 64 back to Taos. Turn right at the junction with NM 64W, and follow that road, going North out of town. 4 miles North of Taos you will take the right fork onto NM 150N, and you will follow NM 150N for the next 14.5 miles as it twists and turns on its way toward Taos Ski Valley. Go past the parking lots of Taos Ski Valley to the uppermost parking lot, and look for Wheeler Peak Trail 90 behind the information board.

The deadline for changing a "Yes" RSVP to a "No" RSVP is May 21, 2010

Trip Dates: June 4 (Friday evening) thru June 6 (Sunday hike out)

Trip Rating: Strenuous due to elevation gain and distance

Trail Length: 2 miles backpacking and 10 miles day hiking on Saturday, 2 miles backpacking and 12 miles day hiking on Sunday

Elevation Gain: 6,616 ft (only 1,427 ft is backpacking, the rest is day hiking)

Elevation Range: 9,390 ft to 13,161 ft

Expected Temps: Highs in the mid 60's to low 70's, lows in the 30's

Dogs Allowed

Notice: Disregard the info/map directions link as it is incorrect

Contact Jon with any questions

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