|Page Type:||Trip Report|
|Lat/Lon:||35.27449°N / 107.65446°W|
|Date Climbed/Hiked:||Dec 9, 2018|
A buddy and I took off Colorado Springs last weekend for a road trip, winter camping, and an ascent of Mt. Taylor. The drive to the trailhead was farily uneventful. There was between 4-6 inches of snow on the road since it snowed that afternoon, but the road is a nice and smooth and easily handled with a 2WD vehicle. We arrived pretty late and did not see the dozens of camp sites that we passes in route to the Gooseberry Springs TH, so we ended up just setting up a tent and bivy in the snow at the TH. We saw a "No Camping at TH" sign in the morning so if we did it again we would stay at one of the established camp sites nearby.
The trail, even with snow is relatively easy to follow. You stay close to a ridge with a gulley to the climbers right. After a little ways (maybe 1/2 - 3/4 mile) you cross the valley and head back the way you came (SW) for about 100 meters on what looks like an old forest service road. We then followed a switchback NE, went through a gate, and came to a beautiful clearing.
We initially intended to bag Mt Taylor and the La Mosca Lookout, but the snow became pretty deep (12"-18") on average with pockets of deeper snow near a saddle, and our snow shoes were not keeping us afloat at all. Honestly we though we would fly up to the summit, but the last 500-600 vertical feel were an absolute slog. The summit was nice, and had a registry and wonderful views.
The route down was uneventful. We heading back to ABQ for some Taco Cabana (just like home), and camped up in the mountains above Santa Fe. We drove up to Taos on Sunday, swung by Kit Carson's old house and hit the highway to head back to Colorado.