Ascent of Canjilon Mountain on 2017-07-20

Climber: Phil Robinson

Others in Party:My dog Captain.
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, July 20, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Canjilon Mountain
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10900 ft / 3322 m

Ascent Trip Report

Canjilon Mountain is in a sector of New Mexico that I have not done any peakbagging. There are 3 camping grounds to the east of the peak; Lower, Middle, and Upper Canjilon Lakes. My plan was to hard bushwhack it up the mountain from the lower set of lakes. I asked my son if he would like to go and fish while I hiked the peak. He remembered that the area had been closed because they were dealing with a lot of downed trees. I called the forest service and they said that this was true, and that the area should be open next year. I changed my plan, and decided to come in from the west. I took beautiful highway 84 north from Espanola. This road goes through an area of magical red rock mountains. If you go this way, check out the natural Echo Amphitheater. This an amazing red hued mountain where the slightest whisper is echoed back. I visited this location with my parents when I was about 4 years old. My dad kidded me and said they paid someone to call back in my voice, then he later explained what was happening. I was amazed! At mile marker 242 I turned east on Forest Road 125, about a mile on this road and I turned right on Forest Road 124. I drove 7 miles up this fairly well maintained dirt road to the location where FR 124 meets an unmarked road to the left, FR274B. I had my Land Cruiser, but could have made it in my regular car to this point. I stopped here because I wanted to hike the peak, not drive close to it. If one were to continue up FR274B, a 4WD vehicle is required! The hike is through a beautiful green forest, alternating with lush wildflower covered meadows. In the open areas are wonderful views. After about a 3 hour drive from my home I was hiking at 7:25 AM, July 20, 2017. I took my dog Captain along because he did so well on his last hike and this hike did not seem excessively hard. It was a cool clear morning. The starting elevation was 9490 feet. The entire hike is up an old road, but it is in such rough shape it feels like an old trail. My dog was so happy to be out! At home he now goes to my car looking at me ready to go. The last half mile of the hike is a little chug, going up a 25 degree angle. Vehicles are not allowed to continue up the last part. I arrived at the top of Canjilon Mountain at 9:00 AM. I hiked 2.8 miles and had an elevation gain of 1410 feet. There is an old fire-watch cabin and a sign with a story of a fire watchman that was struck by lightning in 1922 and killed. I stayed on the top for about 20 minutes and took pictures and enjoyed the views. I decided to hike Red Hill, elevation 10,170, on the way back. I made a straight beeline for the peak through open meadows. The last part is a short period of hard bushwhacking through the dense forest crossing lots of downed trees. I did not understand why they called it Red Hill because everything was lush and green. As I looked around, I saw that the hill is a volcano mound with many red volcanic rocks called scoria. I arrived at the top at 10:15 AM. I had hiked 4.9 miles. The top is tree covered with not any views. I went down Red Hill towards the south and saw more clues for the hill’s name, red dirt areas. I also saw some interesting ant mounds I have never seen the likes of in New Mexico. I bushwhacked through forest and open area completing a loop back to the road. It was an easy hike down the road. I arrived back almost 4 hours after leaving. I hiked 6.8 miles with a total up-down elevation gain of 1621 feet. I tied the dog to a tree in a cool grassy shady area as I got ready to leave. I saw him rolling in something. It was a delightful way for him to finish the trip! He was rolling in a fresh cow pie. I did not see any cows on the hike. I did not see any other cow pies, just this one. “Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!” I cleaned the dog as best I could in a mud puddle.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1410 ft / 429 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1410 ft / 429 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:Hiked up Unmarked Forest Road 274B
    Start Trailhead:Forest Road 124& FR274B  9490 ft / 2892 m
    Time:1 Hours 35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Canjilon Mt & Red Hill

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Canjilon Mountain2017-07-20 a1410 ft / 430 m
2Red Hill2017-07-20 b211 ft / 64 m
Total Trip Gain: 1621 ft / 494 m    Total Trip Loss: 141 ft / 43 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Phil Robinson
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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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