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Monday, September 3, 2012

Mount Taylor - New Mexico

Gooseberry Springs Trail #77
Cibola National Forest
Grants, New Mexico
Mileage - 7
Time - 2:20
AEG - 2100ft

Mount Taylor is totally off the radar, in fact, I don't know anyone else that's hiked it.  I first learned about the mountain from a new ultramarathon taking place there this September (Mt Taylor 50K).  Grants seemed like the perfect place to layover on our way home from Taos, and the trailhead was only 45 minutes from the hotel.  On top of that, the trail was a mere 7 miles which meant we could reach the summit and make it back to Phoenix at a decent time. 

Driving uphill along 547 showed just how diverse the Cibola National Forest is rising out of high desert and into another dense forest of pines and aspens.  We made the turn onto FR 193 and traveled exactly 5 miles to the trailhead at 9417 feet.  A 7-mile round trip hike didn't sound like much, then we started the approach up the South side of Mount Taylor, which was no easy task.  Gaining 2000+ft in approximately 3.5 miles to the summit turned out to be a lot of work, which you can solely blame on the elevation and steady grade.


Looking back at our three days of hiking, I personally enjoyed this one the most. If Mount Baldy was the appetizer and Wheeler Peak being the main course, Mount Taylor was certainly the dessert.  The icing on the cake so to speak.  What made it so great? Take a look for yourself.  

    

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