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Ascent of Elephant Rock on 2013-08-20

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Elephant Rock
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10556 ft / 3217 m

Ascent Trip Report

I finally made it up Elephant Rock after a series of unsuccessful attampts. The trail starts just above the Red River water treatment buildings. At my parking spot my GPS suggested it was only about a mile and quarter to Elephant Rock, but the trail meanders westward along the slope just above the highway for nearly 1.2 miles before it actually starts up. At 1.25 mi. from my start I was only about 100 feet higher (with some small up and down in between). The trail (really an old road) climbs steeply for about a quarter mile thereafter, but overall it climbs steadily but not steeply for a bit over 2 mi. up to the ridge line at about 10,000 feet. The road headed over the saddle while the remnants headed left up the slope towards Elephant Rock. Up to this point the route appears to have received forest service maintenance with hardly any obstructions. The final segment is somewhat deteriorated with parts washed away and parts with downed trees. It passes just north of the hp coordinates leaving a bushwhack of about 60 yards up to the highpoint. The highpoint is a bare area right at the top of rocky and jagged cliffs with excellent views south and southwest (some nice views north and northeast from the road.

On the way down I headed onto an abandoned forest track on the south side of the ridge line. Parts blocked needed bushwhack around. I could see the road up below me and I bushwhacked down the slope towards it. This, combined with bushwhacking across some of the switchbacks, cut about 3/4 mi. off the return trip. I also spent about a half hour searching some dried stream beds for crystals (found a couple). I did not include that in the descent time.

Overall a more demanding hike than you would expect from the GPS reading at the beginning, but nothing difficult about it, some dramatic scenery amidst rocky cliffs.

This is part of my quest to climb all of the p300s in Taos County (#80 out of 115) and all of the 10k's in New Mexico (#97 of 222).
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2044 ft / 622 m
    Total Elevation Loss:148 ft / 44 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Hot, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1972 ft / 601 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1896 ft / 578 m; Extra: 76 ft / 23m
    Loss on way in:76 ft / 23 m
    Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Start Trailhead:road by Red River water plant  8660 ft / 2639 m
    Time:3 Hours 1 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:72 ft / 21 m
    Gain on way out:72 ft / 21 m
    Distance:3.6 mi / 5.8 km
    Time:1 Hours 29 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Richard Oestreicher
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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