I’m contemplating a Friday the 13th adventure in a week.

The objective will be to visit outcrops of the Bland stock in the southern Jemez. This is the monzonite from which gold was mined from the late 19th century to about 1930. The main mining area remains private property, and the roads in are badly washed out by recent flash floods, but there is an outlying exposure to the north on Forest Service lands that may be easier to get to (and from which small samples may legally be gathered.)

One can get as far as 35.80203N 106.47006W by vehicle without much difficulty. From there I plan to hike south along the old Del Norte Road. I scouted this area and met the landowner last year, who confirmed what my eyes told me — there’s essentially no road left due to recent severe flash flooding. From 35.79344N 106.46898W I plan to bushwack directly west off the private land and across a very shallow saddle on Crager Ridge to the next valley west. This area is National Forest land and the geological map shows numerous dikes and outcrops of Bland monzonite in this area, some with pyrite alteration.

Given the condition of my shoulder and the likely challenge of crossing the ridge, I do not want to attempt this without at least a couple of others along. Let me know (in the comments or by email, kgb@kgbudge.com) if you are interested, and if I have at least two others who are sure they can go, we’ll make arrangements. I am not looking to get together a huge group; I don’t want to impose on the landowner, so not more than two vehicles would be appropriate.

If Saturday the 14th works better, let me know that as well. Either day is workable for me.

This article has 5 comments

  1. Liz Aicher Reply

    As you know, I’m interested!! Either day would work for me. FYI – I have a bad shoulder too.

  2. Annette Fox Reply

    I am interested in this hike also. Any idea of the hiking mileage? Either day would work for me.

  3. Kent G. Budge Reply

    I went today and reconnoitered the first part of the route. Alas, the canyon is very badly washed out; it looks like Crager Ridge is very steep, at least on the east side; and the private land we’d have to cross turns out to be posted.

    There is a route to the monzonite from the west that is all on public lands and requires hiking along a ridge rather than across a ridge. This would start at 35.79561N 106.48904W and proceed straight east along the crest of the ridge. The monzonite outcrops begin at 35.79375N 106.48075W, if my geologic map is correct, which is less than half a mile though over rough terrain.

    However, the road to the start point looks pretty rotten on Google Maps. I drove as far as 35.80396N 106.50414W in Clownie the Wonder Car last year, but the road beyond that looks pretty dreadful. Hiking along the road adds a good three miles each way.

    It looks like it should be possible to reach 35.80071N 106.50123W by vehicle in dry weather, then bushwack northeast to 35.80088N 106.49875W to cut a very large loop out of the bad road, reducing the hike to about 1.5 miles each way. But that first bushwack will be challenging.

  4. Liz Aicher Reply

    Well, it looks like now I won’t be able to make either day. Sorry, Kent. Hope you get more takers!

  5. Annette Fox Reply

    Hi, Kent. I am sorry, but I will not be able to hike this week either. Maybe another time.

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