From Albuquerque, go east on I-40 and take the Tijeras exit. Stay right when the off-ramp splits after a couple hundred feet. Go straight through the light onto Highway 337. Follow this road for about 35 miles until it hits NM-55 at a “T” intersection. Turn right and continue to the town of Tajique. Immediately after the central cluster of buildings a large brown sign points to Fourth of July campground, which is on the way so turn here onto what will become Forest Road 55. After the Tajique and Fourth of July campgrounds, the road gets pretty rough and rocky but is passable in a car. Continue on this road until you see the second sign pointing out the Bosque Trailhead.
Trailhead to Wilderness Marker:
The first couple hundred feet is a short climb up onto a bench in the ridge. It remains pretty flat for quite some time, but then a series of long, rocky switchbacks will carry you 500 feet or so up the mountain onto another shelf. The wilderness marker is in the middle of this area.
Wilderness Marker to Creek Bed Crossing:
After another short climb up the ridge, the trail gets thick with brush and levels out along the southern side of the ridge. The trail offers some nice views across the canyon and south to Sierra Blanca in this stretch. The creek bed and trail run parallel and begin to get nearer to each other as they travel up the canyon. At a clearing, the trail and creek bed get within 15-20 feet of each other and seem to be separated by a couple of large bushes. Another trail climbing the opposite side of the gully can be seen in the short grass. This is the trail that ends up intersecting with the crest trail. To mark it, my friend and I placed several rocks to draw an arrow in the right direction across the creek bed as well as three large sticks to block the way up the false trail. If you hit a fallen aspen tree about 16 inches in diameter, you’ve gone too far. The false trail also ends in a meadow up the canyon.
Creek Bed Crossing to Oak Grove:
The climb gets a little steep for a short while, but then levels out. The trail splits and forks but all the offshoots rejoin the main one. I guess the cows in the area made their own trails while walking in groups. Anyway, follow the trail through a couple small meadows and at the end of one is a grove of oaks that give an 8 foot clearance before their foliage becomes thick. The trail forks here; one goes straight (south) and the other goes to the right (west). Take the one that travels west through the thicket.
Oak Grove to Summit:
While on this portion of the trek, always take the right fork when the trail branches off. After a short while the trees and brush break away to reveal the crest, the canyon below, and the peaks to the north. The intersection is obvious even though it is not marked. Take the Crest Trail south a few hundred feet and begin bushwhacking your way westward through the aspen. After a couple hundred feet several large ponderosas should appear in a meadow. The large meadow is another 50 feet beyond this through some more aspen. Once in the main meadow, go straight west through a narrowing into a smaller meadow. The summit is in the trees beyond the southwestern corner of the meadow. A cow/deer trail travels through this area and can be taken to the summit, which is 50-60 on the right of it in the aspen. If you want some incredible views, walk straight west from the summit and everything opens up.
If it is cloudy on the mountains or if you go early in the morning when dew is likely, take some waterproof clothing. A machete is also very nice because the brush hounds the route. There are a lot of short thorn bushes below the oak brush so some pants would save you a lot of trouble. Other than that, basic hiking gear is all you need.
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