Fall Climb of Mt. Taylor NM

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 35.24919°N / 107.59337°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Oct 16, 2016
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Fall

Beautiful Fall Day for a Hike

On Oct 16, 2016 My son-in-law and I set out from Albuquerque to hike to the summit of Mt. Taylor, New Mexico. 65 miles or so from Albuquerque on I-40 exited at Grants, NM head north on NM 547 (Lobo Canyon Road) 13 miles until the pavement ends. At the end of the pavement make a right turn onto Forest Service Road 193 and travel 5 miles to the trail head. A high clearance vehicle is a good idea for this road. 5 miles in on 193 you'll see a green trail sign on the left and a small parking lot on the right.

The trail is numbered by the Forest service as Trail 77. Off the left side of the road you see a brown marker with 77 on it. Head up that trail. The Summit is about 3 miles up from this point.

The first mile is in the forest of Ponderosa, Aspen and Fir trees. 1/2 a mile in the trail dips down through a small valley into the Gooseberry Spring area. Coming out of the Gooseberry Springs valley the trail briefly follows an old road and then immediately turns left. Look for the signs. Form there you hike up along this side of the valley until you emerge unto an open meadow. The trail heads straight up the slope to a saddle where it turns left and follows long the left side of the beautiful Rinconda Canyon drainage.

Follow along the canyon until the trail begins to move off to the left. There the the meadow opens up and you'll see the switchbacks leading to the final ridge before the summit.

View of the trail ahead on Mt. Taylor, NM
View of the trail ahead on Mt. Taylor, NM

Once you clear that ridge you still have about 300 feet of elevation to get to the Summit. 

Me on the summit of Mt. Taylor
Me on the summit of Mt. Taylor

You return along the same route.

The weather this day was beautiful. We encountered no one along the trail.

The views from the top are amazing.

A view to the east from the summit of Mt. Taylor, NM
A view to the east from the summit of Mt. Taylor, NM


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