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Question about New Mexico trip
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Ryan Gorman
(rjgorman) - F
Question about New Mexico trip on 05/11/2011 18:07:43 MDT Print View

Hi everyone,
After a long and stressful semester, I am bent on going for a backpacking trip (my first solo!) this summer break, preferably this month. I planned to go to the West Fork of the Gila River from the Cliff Dwellings but the road is closed due to the 50,000+ acre wildfire.

I would love to go up to northern NM but I don't have any experience there. I'm considering the Pecos Wilderness. Can anyone tell me what kind of weather/conditions I could expect this time of year?

If anyone has other suggestions about potential trip locations, by all means let me know.

Thanks!
Ryan

P.S. Please let me know if a trip location includes water crossings. I have crossed streams in the Gila since I was 12 and would love to know what it's like to have dry feet and shoes without gravel on a trip. However, this is just a preference.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Question about New Mexico trip" on 05/12/2011 06:50:15 MDT Print View

Ryan,

There are a few BPL members doing a group trip at the end of this month in the Gila. Here is the link to the trip announcement:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=43969

If you're interested shoot me an email or private message:

imeugeneius @ gmail (dot) com

Ronald Groth
(rgfooter) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Question about New Mexico trip on 05/19/2011 14:54:18 MDT Print View

I just returned from NM yesterday.
Spent a few days in the aldo leopold and the pecos.
The aldo was extremely dry, but the creeks still had good water at lower elevations. Most steams where dry above 9000 ft. There is no snow at 10,000 ft in the aldo. I would not be suprised if the Gila forest closes due to fire danger in the future.

The pecos was also very nice. It apparently has been a dry spring. So there is not much snow. I found solid snow above 11,500 ft. I quess the snow will not be there much longer. The stream flows were low, just rock hop across. The pecos does seem to see higher use than the Gila forest. I recommend the pecos for the end of may, but I do like streams, lakes, and dramatic mountain peaks which the pecos does have.

Weather was nice, lots of sun. I slept comfortably in a 32 degree bag at 10,000 ft. I did not have to put on my down jacket, just a hat at night.

Mark Rash
(markrvp) - M

Locale: North Texas
Wheeler Peak on 05/19/2011 15:03:54 MDT Print View

I'm going to Wheeler Peak in the Carson National Forest in June with another adult leader and 4 Boy Scouts. We're taking the Ditch Cabin trail. It will be my first time and I'd love to hear from anyone who's done this area.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Wheeler Peak on 05/19/2011 15:40:10 MDT Print View

I bet you can do the peak with scouts. Its been awhile since I was there, but I remember a relatively easy summit. Seems like there was a nice camp area by a creek about half way up.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Northern NM and Rio Valdez on 05/21/2011 18:01:49 MDT Print View

No stream crossings in the Peco's unless you decide to go east of Hamilton Mesa and multiple crossings on the Rio Valdez which can be pretty deep with spring runoff.

Most popular hiking trails only have a couple crossings not even worth changing for.

Kent Wood
(kentwood87)

Locale: Southwest USA
Wheeler Peak & Gila on 05/29/2011 08:24:05 MDT Print View

I was in the Gila in mid-April, and was shocked how dry it was. The Middle Fork (80+ crossings!) was never higher than knee deep, all the way from Little Bear canyon to the Meadows. Lots of smoke from the fires, too. I think I heard that TJ Corral has been closed since then (and several other trailheads), due to the fires.

Wheeler is a great scout trip. Depending on your route, several options for making it a 1- or 2-night trip. If you leave from Twining (Taos Ski Valley parking lot), Bull-of-the-Woods trail is about 8 miles one-way to the summit. That route gives you the option of camping at La Cal Basin, roughly 2/3 of the way. Small creek in a timbered area. Red River route is probably better for scouts, you can camp at several lakes along the way.

Extremely dry in NM this year, I expect a lot of closures...

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Question about New Mexico trip on 05/29/2011 23:35:00 MDT Print View

Never done the ditch. We usually go up from the Red River side, and go Middle Fork Lake, Lost Lake, over the peak and down to La Cal. And out past Middle Fork. Some day I want to continue on from La Cal to Bull of the Woods meadow, Goose Lake, and then out.