Red Dome is a treelined peak located in the Taos Mountains of the Sangre De Cristo Range. It reaches over 600 hundred feet above the tree line in a state that has relatively few peaks of equal or greater stature. However tall this mountain is it remains unknown by many. When driving through the Moreno Valley you can see it towering above you, usually plastered with snow or revealing its red color that helps it get its name. Red Dome is located on the edge of the Wheeler Peak Wilderness and the Taos Pueblo land. This being so one would be wise not to stray to far towards Blue Lake, which is nears the base of Red Dome on the southern side as it is sacred Indian land. On most lists of New Mexico mountains Red Dome is not mentioned as it is essentially a high point on a ridge that extends down from the mighty Old Mike. The max drop between Old Mike and Red Dome is 181 feet and they are separated by 1 mile. This is the same ridge that contains the tallest mountains in New Mexico as it starts with Bull of The Woods Mountain(11,645) and continues over Wheeler Peak(13,161) and ends after it passes Taos Cone(12,277). Views from the summit are splendid of the Moreno Valley and the rest of the Wheeler Peak Wilderness and much of Northern New Mexico for that matter. The two hiking trails that I recomend are the Horshoe Lake Trail up to Simpson Peak and then over Old Mike and down to Red Dome. It is then possible to pass over Taos Cone and meet up with the Sawmill Park trail that then meets back up with the Horshoe Lake Trail. For a detailed description of the Horshoe Lake trail see Old Mike Peak. The length of the Sawmill Park trail will be about 8 miles one way and a 3,000 ft gain. The Horshoe Lake trail will be about 9 miles with 3,200 ft gain.
From Red River drive south on State Highway 38. Continue on state road 578 and drive south for 6.5 miles. Turn left on forest road 58A. Drive across the Red River via a bridge then veer right. Continue for 1.25 miles to the trailhead to both the Horshoe Lake and Sawmill Park trailhead.
Red Dome is on the border of the Wheeler Peak wilderness and the Taos Indians land so wilderness rules and common sense and respect for the Native Americans apllies. Good News is dogs are allowed.
There is a good spot for camping at the base of the trailheads in a meadow on the opposite side of the Red River. One can also find good camp sites at Lost Lake which is a short walk from Horshoe Lake.
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