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Northeast Ridge via old Jeep Track

 
Northeast Ridge via old Jeep Track

Page Type: Route

Location: New Mexico, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 32.53700°N / 107.731°W

Object Title: Northeast Ridge via old Jeep Track

Route Type: Minor scrambling, route finding

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Moderate

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes
 

 

Page By: surgent

Created/Edited: Apr 27, 2004 / Apr 30, 2008

Object ID: 160786

Hits: 1884 

Page Score: 71.06%  - 1 Votes 

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Approach

Assuming you have 4wd and got past the gate, drive in about 2.5 miles or so to the junction noted on the "getting there" page topozone link (marked "1" on the handy locator map - see primary image for this page). Have the "OK Canyon" USGS Topo map handy. You will have to hang left at a Y-junction a little before you park.

Assuming you parked at the gate: walk southwest along the fence line about 200 feet, then turn right for a few more feet and re-meet the road. (I believe this is public land again; not sure). Walk the road for the 2.5+ miles to the aformentioned junction.

The 4-wd track shown heading southwest is undrivable. It probably last saw a vehicle 50 years ago.

Route Description

Hike up this road. In about a half-mile it enters a canyon. The road angles across the creek-bed rocks and now hugs the left (south) side of the canyon. Walk the road to its terminus, about a mile in from where you parked. Ignore the temptation to follow the road's switchbacks as shown on the map. Instead, continue up the canyon following a good footpath marked by cairns. Eventually the footpath loses distinction. We found it best to just walk up the canyon botton. Now and then we saw cairns and old path segments, but nothing substantial. Whenever the canyon splits, stay left. Eventually you will work yourself high up this canyon's headwall.

From here there may be use-trails that wiggle up to the ridge. It's about 300 feet of gain to the ridge; this section will demand attention. You should be about at the "2" on the locator map.

Once on the ridge, there will be a very obvious good trail that leads to the prminent saddle southeast of the summit, marked "3" on the map.

Next, start directly up the slopes. We found red yarn bits tied to trees... but an old barbed wire fence may prove to be more dependable as a nav item. Follow good use trails up the spine. The trees give way to rock. A 150-foot scramble section needs to be up-climbed; it's well marked with cairns and not angled too severely. However, the views contain a lot of air so you may need to work up a little courage here. Once on top this section, walk up to the next knob, then onto the summit, about 200 feet further. Clefts in the rocks/cliffs allow for some tremendous views. There are a couple stone windbreaks at the top.

R/t mileage is about 5 and about 2,400 feet of gain.

Note: We had snow and rain and hail, and still did fine. However, if it gets too deep or thick the route finding can be tricky and the rocks up high could get icy. Of a greater concern is the dirt road between the gate and the main highway: it gets horribly slick and gooey. I had 4wd and needed it in low, and even so still slid and yawed on the road. Be careful.

Cookes Peak (NM) Locater Map
Locator Map

Essential Gear

Wear long pants and long sleeves due to the brush you may have to work through. Have your map and gps/compass. Otherwise, just the usual. Pack in all water.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Images

Cookes Peak (NM) Locater Map