Chicoma Mountain is the highest point in the Jemez Mountains. These mountains rise impressively above the west side of the Espanola Valley. The Jemez Mountains form the southern end of the Rocky Mountains. The central feature of the range is a large, circular bowl nearly 15 miles in diameter. Once regarded as the world's largest volcano that might have been 20,000' in elevation, the Valle Grande and several other nearby valleys are now believed to represent a caldera formed by the collapse of the volcano. Chicoma Mountain is located in the Santa Fe National Forest. With a prominence of 4,281', Chicoma Mountain ranks No.2 on the New Mexico Prominence List.
From Espanola, drive north on US 84/285 to the outskirts of town, then turn left at the marked Forest Road 144. The road is paved at first, but turns to dirt a few miles in. Follow this long and winding dirt road about 25 miles or so until you are pretty much directly north of Chicoma Mountain. Park here at this approximate location.
Contact the Santa Fe National Forest, Espanola Ranger District, for the latest information. Their number is 505-753-7331.
Forest Service Map: Santa Fe National Forest.
Topo Maps: Polvadera Peak; Vallecitos.
There are no developed campgrounds in the vicinity of Chicoma Mountain.
You could also add that Chicoma Peak is a small fraction of the northeast slope of an extinct, collapsed volcano. The Jemez Mtns. used to part one mountain that rose at least 20,000 ft. above sea level around 1 million years ago. The mountain collapsed and sent rocks as big as houses 300-400 miles south. There used to be a crater lake surrounded by the Jemez Mtns. but the southwest part of the mountains ruptured, creating Jemez Canyon. If you follow the slope of Chicoma Peak you can imagine how large the old mountain used to be.