Ascent of West Blue Mountain on 1997-05-25

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Sunday, May 25, 1997
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:West Blue Mountain
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10336 ft / 3150 m

Ascent Trip Report

November, 2014 Update: Ken Jones reports that Forest Road 140 is not marked anymore and access through the Lazy R Ranch is not possible. An alternative would be to turn east on road 478 which is a few miles north of the old 140. Drive this road up to route 69 and turn right to a trailhead. This route is now a better option and is suggested in SummitPost. For the hike, follow trail #69 to #90 then the route is the same as below. The distance starting from this new trailhead does not appear to be much different.

This peak can be reached from several directions on the extensive network of trails in the Apache Kid Wliderness. One of the more direct routes is from the west on Post Trail #90. From highway 60 west of Magdalena turn south on route 52 past the Very Large Array. After 2.5 miles continue straight past the turn to the VLA headquarters where the road turns to good graded dirt. At 21.5 miles go straight at the junction with route 163. Stay on the main road and at 41.3 miles turn left at a sign that marks the start of Forest Road 140. This turn is also 9.0 miles north of a paved road coming from Winston. On route #140 turn left after 0.4 miles and in another tenth go through a gate for the Lazy R ranch. Drive through the ranch property and then follow the road as it climbs up onto a higher plateau. At 6.6 miles there is a sign stating that standard cars are not advised beyond this point. There is a rough, but short descent and then the road improves for a few miles. Later it turns rough and rocky and 4wd may be needed. Reach the trailhead sign at the end of the road in 12.5 miles. UTM here is: 268840E, 3727900N. Follow the good trail NE then east up the mountain to a junction with trail #69 after 2.8 miles. Continue on #90 to Cub Spring, which generally has water, and then toward a junction east of West Blue Mountain. One can short cut the route to the summit by turning right up through the forest before the junction. This route is 8 miles round-trip with an elevation gain of 2050 ft. Allow about 2 to 2 1/2 hours for the ascent with a day pack and it will take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to return. 5/97 RLC
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