Ascent of Picacho Peak on 2018-04-07

Climber: bob l

Date:Saturday, April 7, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Picacho Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:8577 ft / 2614 m

Ascent Trip Report

My lovely wife and I were weekending in Santa Fe and we did this hike together. We started at about 8:30am at the Cerro Gordo trailhead which is part of the Dale Ball Trail system located just a few miles from majestic, downtown Santa Fe. The breezy air was on the cool side and low clouds were brushing the skies with a soft tint of winter, but otherwise the morning was quite welcoming. We walked past the green gates protecting the parking lot and crossed Upper Canyon Rd where we met the trail. Your research will show that several different trails, which are numbered, are used to reach the peak. Remember to always turn left at the junctions. The beginning trail section, #29, is fairly navigable and serene as it makes it way up a slow, pretty canyon then a woodsy hillside. On top of the hillside, at this first ridge, the trail divides and route #30 takes you around another flattish canyon then continues mildly up through the forested area. In through here, there are now several spots where you can stop to take in the views of the entire Santa Fe canvass. Almost a mile into the hike, you reach another trail divide. This next section soon becomes more rocky and steeper and it enduringly switchbacks up the peak’s hillside. As you zigzag, the peak peeks at you here and there and in here you also realize that this is a physical hike. There is a nice overlook area that interrupts the switchbacks, but they persist until the next trail divide, #34. The final trail piece is steep too but short and the peak pulls you closer as it is in view amongst the sparsing trees for most of this section. The peak area, big and outlined with some trees, wants to make you reach for the backdrop of New Mexico. My wife and I really enjoyed the purity of this wonderful mountain in this great landscape.

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