Touch-Me-Not Mountain is in the Sangre de Cristo range and is located in the 33,116 acre Colin Neblett Wildlife Management Area, which includes Cimarron Canyon State Park, near Eagle Nest, New Mexico. The summit provides outstanding views of the Moreno Valley, the Wheeler Peak complex, and Philmont Scout Ranch. Touch Me Not is a good mountain for a child's first ascent due to the short 4 mile round trip and relatively mild sustained grade.
From the Enchanted Circle:
From Red River, travel south on NM 38 over Bobcat Pass to US 64 west of Eagle Nest. Turn left on US 64 into Eagle Nest.
From Taos, travel east on US 64 over Palo Flechado Pass, past Angelfire Resort into Eagle Nest.
From Eagle Nest, travel east on US 64 toward Cimarron Canyon. Turn left at the sign to the New Mexico Reintegration Center onto a dirt road.
From Interstate 25:
From Interstate 25, exit NM 58 West (Exit 419) towards Cimarron. In Cimarron, Turn left (west) on US 64 and enjoy the scenery in the Cimarron Canyon. At the end of the canyon, in the middle of a switchback to the left, turn right at the sign to the New Mexico Reintegration Center.
Approximately 200’ further, turn right onto another dirt road. As of December 27, 2003, this road had a sign saying “Touch-Me-Not.” Follow this road approximately four (4) miles to the trailhead. In August, 2000, the trailhead was marked with a small rock cairn at the base of a wooden power pole and was very easy to miss. In July 2004, the small cairn had been supplemented with a small log pointing toward the trail. In May 2009, a sign had been posted regarding road closure and hunting being allowed only on foot or from horseback. GPS coordinates for the trailhead are 36 33.479 N, 105 12.160 W. If you get to the top of Green Mountain where the radio towers are, you have gone too far.
There really is not a parking lot at the trailhead but there is some space on the abandoned logging road for three or four vehicles to park to the left of the road as you are headed uphill.
A WORD OF CAUTION:
The road to the trailhead is an old logging road and is not well maintained. During the summer, the road is very rough and has loose rock in some places. In the winter, the road is not plowed. The switchbacks are very tight. As of November 2016, a sign was posted at the bottom of the hill stating that the road is not suitable for vehicular use during inclement weather. A high clearance vehicle is required and four-wheel drive is highly recommended, especially on the descent. I've seen a Ford Escape 4WD, Subaru Outback, Ford Excursion 4WD, and heard a Chevy Suburban 2WD made it to the trailhead.
There are no fees or permits required to hike, climb, or camp in this wilderness area run by the New Mexico State Parks and Recreation Division. Camping is permitted in designated areas only.
In the spring, some trails in the neighboring canyons are closed for elk calving. Although the standard route is not closed, elk do bed in the trees on the ridge north of the summit between Touch-Me-Not and Baldy.
Typical of the southern Rocky Mountains, the optimum climbing is late May through November. During July and August, afternoon thunderstorms are generally a daily occurrence. An early start is essential to avoid the lightning hazards associated with these thunderstorms.
Along the trail, camping is permitted in designated areas only. In May 2009, it appeared that one campsite had been established at the base of the road near US 64 and one designated campsite had been established along the logging road a short distance up from the valley floor.
There are numerous other camping opportunities from tent camping to RV camping in Cimarron Canyon State Park, Eagle Nest, and the Carson National Forest. There are also several National Forest Service Campgrounds along Taos Canyon on US 64 west of Palo Flechado Pass.
Touch Me Not Mountain is on the east side of the Moreno Valley with the primary trail on the south ridge. Above timberline, the winds may be high and temperatures may be substantially colder than those in the valley. For local weather, see National Weather Service zone forecast for the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, New Mexico. For recent historical weather data, see Eagle Nest ROSA Reports.
Cimarron Canyon State Park Manager:
PO Box 185
Eagle Nest, NM 87718