The road to the western, Rio Quemado Trailhead is hopelessly washed out 2.5 miles short of the trailhead. At the place where the road washes out, there is a wide area to park, but I'm not sure if it is private property or not. There was a hiker parked there. This will add an additional 2.5 miles to the hike each way.
Tried the western approach from Truchas and Route 76 on 8/20/05.
My old Subaru got as far as the washed out road section, just beyond a cattle grate. Definite 4WD, or high clearance vehicle required.
Took awhile to find the trailhead so only got as far as the Falls before turning back - confusing network of roads up there.
Arrived back five hours later to find large rock thrown through my car's rear window. ATV tracks on the road, along with spent 20-guage shotgun shells up the road a bit. Nothing stolen - just 'get out of here' vandalism. Saw some hunters in pick-ups with hounds, they were friendly (thought we were lost on the High Road to Taos), and some pre-teens on ATVs - who also gave good directions.
But there's a definite anti-outsider vibe there - next time I will try the Santa Barbara trailhead up north, or get dropped off.
We went up the Truchas Peaks from the West this month and there were no problems whatsoever. We got permission from Wilford. Here are some better directions on how to get from Truchas to the trailhead. Except as noted, always choose the best road;
Start odometer at the Post Office on the N. side of the road shortly after entering Truchas.
At Mile 2 the Pavement turns to dirt.
At Mile 3.2 take the right fork 100 yards after cattle guard.
At Mile 4.7 go straight, do not turn right into land grant.
At Mile 5.1 go straight, do not turn right into land grant.
At Mile 6.8 the road will make a right hand turn and enter the land grant.
At Mile 8.3 take a right at the ' T ' intersection.
At Mile 8.5 take a left at the ' Y ' intersection and proceed uphill.
Trailhead is at Mile 9.7.
There are 2 pullouts to park shortly before the trailhead at right hairpin turns. When we were there 4 trucks managed to fit at the trailhead.
Just an interesting Truchas tidbit from the Santa Fe New Mexican, August 22, 1962:
"Los Alamos Scientist Robert Spaulding was found alive about noon today in the wreckage of his Tri-Pacer in rugged wilderness country on the southwest face of Truchas Peak. A combined air and ground rescue attempt was underway early this afternoon; however, it was feared no one would be able to reach the scene of the crash until 4 or 5 p.m. Spaulding, 43, had been lying in the wreckage of the small private craft for more than 72 hours, and according to initial reports, he is in critical condition."
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Me and my buddy just summited on 6/7/14. Did the 24 mile round trip form Jack's Creek Campground in a day. Took about 13 hours total.
I've never heard anyone use the name "West Truchas" before. The peak you're calling "West Truchas" is widely known, including on every map I've ever seen, as "Middle Truchas". Nobody else changes the peak called "Middle Truchas" to the "center of the Y-shaped ridge" in order to distinguish these. Instead, what I've always heard others do is call the peak at the "center of the Y" "Medio Peak" in order to distinguish them.
Also, "South Truchas" is commonly called just plain "Truchas".
I don't think that's confusing, but I do think changing the traditional names that are on the maps is very confusing!