Ascent of Manzano Peak on 2012-07-20

Climber: Phil Robinson

Others in Party:Richard O.
Date:Friday, July 20, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Manzano Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10098 ft / 3077 m

Ascent Trip Report

It was nice to hike a peak so close to home. It only took an hour’s drive to the south. I am only interested in hiking 11K peaks and above in New Mexico, but to join fellow peakbagger, Richard O., I decided to hike this peak. Also, I look at the Manzano mountains every day so I thought that I might as well climb the highest point. From I-40 I took road 337 south of Tijeras for about 45 minutes to the town of Manzano. Here I took road 131 (Forest Road 253) SSW then west until I came to Forest Road 422 then I continued on this road south for several miles until I came to a very rough 4WD road. I turned west and went up this road several hundred yards. The name of the trailhead is Kayser Mill. I did not see a sign. A few years ago this was a beautiful forest but a fire ravished the lower elevations in the area. My GPS gave a reading that we were starting at 8059 feet. We started hiking at 8:45 and had to dodge burnt and fallen trees as we started out. Several miles up the trail the burned out area stops and the rest of the hike is in a delightful, beautiful forest. We had a nice trail at times and at times the trail seemed to disappear. About half way up we crossed a small boulder field. We reached the ridge after hiking 2 hours and 15 minutes and 3 and1/4 miles. It is always nice to reach the ridge. The ridge elevation was 9800 feet. We stopped for a drink and bite to eat and continued about a mile south to the peak. Manzano Peak has an elevation of 10,098. We reached the top after 3 hours of hiking and 4.2 miles distance. I thought I had hiked this peak as a kid in Boy Scouts, but when I reached the top I realized I had not. Half the peak has beautiful views and half the peak is tree covered. I took some pictures and we admired the views for awhile then headed back. We pretty much followed the same way back down the ridge to the trail then we decided to cut off some of a large switch back. I would not recommend doing this. We bushwhacked and probably took a little longer than if we had stayed on the trail. We continued the hike down to the vehicles. This was one of the warmest hikes I have been on. Many of my hikes have been a couple thousand feet higher and further to the north. It was a great hike with great company! We arrived back 5 hours and 20 minutes after we left and the total hike was about 8 miles.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2139 ft / 651 m
    Total Elevation Loss:100 ft / 30 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2039 ft / 621 m
    Distance:4.2 mi / 6.8 km
    Route:Kayser Mill Trail
    Start Trailhead:8059 ft / 2456 m
    Time:3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:3.8 mi / 6.1 km
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Phil Robinson
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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