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Mount Taylor - NM - Winter Route?

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Mount Taylor - NM - Winter Route?

Postby KathyW » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:18 pm

I'll be in the Albuquerque area for a few days starting January 19th. I'm not familiar with that area and I'd like to give Mount Taylor a try. I'm wondering what the best route up Taylor is in the winter. Unfortunately, I don't ski but I'll pack my snowshoes as it sounds like there will be plenty of snow on the mountain. I have a feeling the Gooseberry Springs Trail isn't the best way to go when there's snow on the mountain. I've checked out the route the Quadrathlon goes, and I'm wondering if that is a better route to try to follow in the winter. Any suggestions?
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Re: Mount Taylor - NM - Winter Route?

Postby MoapaPk » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:51 pm

It's been a long time, but... you can usually drive pretty far up, and just follow the USFS road to the plateau right below the top. State road 547 goes up to about 8800', then take USFS 453 up to about 10600'. The trail from there, on the NE side, will have softer snow, but is more through trees. The Gooseberry Springs route, as you've gathered, is more exposed and sloped; but Scott did it with young Kessler, on a less-snowy winter.

In the summer, a 4x4 could take the USFS road pretty high; then at a closure, you can walk a road to within a few hundred feet below the summit... at least you could in 1995! In 1983, we drove a front-wheel drive car through the snow to well over 9000', on the road that eventually reaches the summit plateau. Unfortunately, it's mainly wooded, so you don't see much on the way.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Mount+Tay ... r&t=p&z=14

I don't know what restrictions the quadrathlon puts on access these days. Their page must have a link to the appropriate Cibola Forest office, where you might get the latest conditions
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Re: Mount Taylor - NM - Winter Route?

Postby davebobk47 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:36 pm

10,600 might be a bit tough to reach by car but it has been a low snow year. Taylor is doable this time of year from the North. A friend and I tried in Feb and hit 40-50 mph winds so we only went to the La Mosca Lookout but that was a really fun hike. Check out the Mt Taylor Quadrathalon website - they should have current conditions.
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Re: Mount Taylor - NM - Winter Route?

Postby MoapaPk » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:52 pm

davebobk47 wrote:10,600 might be a bit tough to reach by car but it has been a low snow year. Taylor is doable this time of year from the North. A friend and I tried in Feb and hit 40-50 mph winds so we only went to the La Mosca Lookout but that was a really fun hike. Check out the Mt Taylor Quadrathalon website - they should have current conditions.


I guess I wasn't clear enough. It's a fairly easy walk to 10600'... except that it can be a bit slippery. I don't think we ever drove past about 10000', even in summer. I recall I was there in 1983 when temperature dropped, and it was suddenly like an ice sheet (for my XC skis).
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Re: Mount Taylor - NM - Winter Route?

Postby KathyW » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:49 pm

Thanks for the info. From the north sounds good depending on road condtions as I'll be driving a compact rental car.
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