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New Meetup: Weekend Backpacking/Snowshoeing Trip to Enchanted Forest

From: Jon
Sent on: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 3:13 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The New Mexico Backpackers Meetup Group!

What: Weekend Backpacking/Snowshoeing Trip to Enchanted Forest

When: December 11,[masked]:00 PM

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. By this time, there should be several inches to a couple of 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 and small meadows 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.

On Friday we will plan to snowshoe in less than a quarter mile to set up camp. I recommend arriving early so that you have time to make it to camp and set up your tent before it gets dark. There is an outhouse available at the trailhead, but there will be no facilities for the remainder of the trip. On Saturday morning we will head out for 2.8 miles along flat to moderate terrain, passing views of the Latir Wilderness, to set up camp with a view of Gold Hill. There will then be an optional day snowshoe hike of 1.2 miles round trip to get a view of Wheeler Peak. Although very short, this portion of the trail is steep. Our elevation at the trailhead is 9800 feet, we will cross 10,000 feet on our way to set up camp on Saturday, then drop down to 9800 again where we set up camp. For the day hike we will get near 10,000 feet again.

There will be no running water, so you must bring and carry all the water you need for the trip. Take precautions to avoid having your water freeze, especially overnight. Just because it is a short trip, don't assume you won't need much 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 Waiver & Release form on file with us. This waiver covers all trips and activities for 2009, 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 likely be necessary to get to the trailhead.

Deadline for changing a "Yes" RSVP to a "No" RSVP is November 27, 2009.

Trip dates: December 11 (Friday night) thru December 13 (Sunday hike out)

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

Difficulty Rating: Moderate

Trail length: .2 miles Friday, 2.8 miles Saturday (plus optional 1.2 mile day hike), 3 miles Sunday

Elevation Gain: 200 feet

Expected Highs: low 30's to low 40's

Expected Lows: 0 to 10 degrees

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

Please contact Jon with any questions.

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