Bosque Peak is similar to a gigantic, tree-covered mesa rising 4,000 feet above the valley. It is one of several 9,000’ peaks in the northern Manzano Mountains, which lie just south of a section in the range that is on military and Native American lands. Formed in the same manner as all the mountains along the Rio Grande rift, Bosque Peak rises abruptly above the desert and river valley to the west and climbs gradually from the high plains in the east. Since all trails come from the eastern side of the range in this area and the rain drops mainly along the eastern slopes, most of the traveling occurs beneath the shade of ponderosas, oaks, and aspen.
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.
A couple of great maps are the Manzano Mountains Wilderness map and the Cibola National Forest (Mountainair District) map.
No permits or fees are required to hike or park at the trailheads. However, as always, follow the outdoors code of conduct and leave no trace. Bosque Peak is in the Manzano Mountains Wilderness, which forbids use of motor vehicles and bikes on any of the trails.
When To Climb
The peak is climbable at all times during the year but may become very difficult in the winter. The best times are between April and September, which is true for most peaks in New Mexico. Though not as stormy as the Sandia Mountains to the north, afternoon thunderstorms are common on this mountain especially during the spring, summer, and fall. Also, due to the low humidity, altitude, and intense sun that dehydrate the body, it is extremely important to pack plenty of it (a couple of liters/person is good). If you begin early, take a waterproof jacket or poncho because dew tends to accumulate on the brush that crowd the trails.
Camping is allowed on the mountain as long as fires are not made. However, all climbs are done within a day so camping is unnecessary for most people. There are two campgrounds in the area; Fourth of July and Tajique, which are on the way up to the trailhead from the town of Tajique.
The only two websites you need are below with weather, fire danger, forest ranger contact information, and more.
New Mexico Website
National Forest link