This was the first peak we bagged on our Rayado trek. We started off with the biggest! We camped at the Clayton Corral, and bushwhacked to the top. We did not locate a fence on the way up and we found ourselves climbing very steep parts early in the climb. Once we got above treeline the climb was straightforward. Then false summits!!!! On the way down we found a fence and followed that as well as we could. It then spit us out into a meadow and then on to the road about a half a mile north of the Corral. We were able to follow the road back. For the inexperienced navigating could be difficult.
The area west of the county line is closed for elk calving in May and June, so I started at the corrals and stayed east of the line. Nasty brush and talus up to the ridge. Fun and straightforward hike from there, across to the next ridge, then up to the treeline. I knew there were a couple false summits, but they kept coming. Just as I thought I was getting close to the summit, higher, further ground kept appearing. Elk visible in a few spots from the summit. I thought I would schlep up this peak quickly on my way home from the Latir Peak Wilderness. My GPS said over 3000 feet of accumulated elevation gain and 8 miles round trip. Beautiful area.
Nice weather no problems.
The hike up was not very difficult; the hardest part was finding and staying on the (suggested) trail. It's nice hiking on through the forest on the way up, and the meadows at the top were awesome. There was only one wind shield at the top.
Good hike. My first NM 12er.
Flew a dollar store, Disney Princess Kite from the peak.
Hiked it from Clayton Corrals with Kilian and Caleb on a day off. We started at 10:00am and made the summit at 12:30pm. It was a miserable swack once the fence started going in the wrong direction. They say to follow the fences but the fences go in all directions. Great day with steller views. One of my favorite peaks for sure. We saw a bear on the way up and LOTS of elk.
Hiked with my wife in early Fall 2003. One of my last of the 33 New Mexico County HPs. Beautiful area!
A long drive in from either direction is rewarded by awesome views along the grassy summit ridge. We saw a number of elk on our way out and even managed to capture a 10 second video of 6 of them as they ran by us at a distance of 50m.
This is a wonderful and isolated mountain that rarely receives human visiters. The potential for wildlife viewing is high in this remote region of the Valle Vidal. This is one of my favorite mountains. The first mile is steep as you work your way through the meadow up to the steep forested ridge. We followed the old county line barbed wire fence almost to treeline. Once above treeline the temp. fell dramatically and the wind picked up. The clouds shrouded the mountains and somewhat limited our views but, in the end did not take away from the grandeur of this mountain. Little Costilla is New Mexico!
PROTECT the VALLE VIDAL!!!
Me and two other rangers climbed this mountain on the spur of the moment on a day off.
When we got there we realized we had forgotten both our compasses and flashlights (it was already 3) but we still went on. It was a beautiful hike up, saw a mountain goat, but we were forced to descend quickly because of a storm. We descended with no light following the barbed wire fence which dissappeared frequently. Got some moon towards the end, but it just showed ghostly white aspens backed by a storm darker than the night sky around it. Got hammered for the last bit, but we made it!
Philmont Rayado trek 717-RM3 2001
We began close to the Corral (west of Shuree Ponds in the Valle Vidal), where we hiked up through a meadow to the county fenceline along a ridge to the south of the mountain. We continued along the ridge, above the treeline and over four or five false peaks before reaching the summit. There were glorious views into Colorado and toward the west. We hiked down the ravine to Elk Meadows where we spent the night. This place is awesome!