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 (http://files.meetup.com/292562/monte_largo_canyon_topo_w_route.bmp) 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 (http://www.meetup.com/hiking-204/events/13516308/) 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.