La Bajada, New Mexico | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
  • Register Today It's free!

La Bajada, New Mexico


Pumpkin Pilot
Staff member
Elite Explorer
February 8, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Wayoutin, Aridzona
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XL '20 ST
Jack Lobdell's wife Glinda, just wrote and told me that 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility just published an article of Jack's. Jack submitted the article nearly a year before he passed away and they finally printed it.

The article is called La Bajada, Four Wheeling a Historic New Mexico Trail. It appears in the October issue of 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility.

The conclusion of Jack's article is a bit ironic and haunting, it also makes me want to run the trail all the more.

Here is the last paragraph from Jack's article: "Taking a historic route is always interesting. Sometimes the wind of La Bajada sounds like the ghosts of all the people who have traveled the descent. It's just a four-wheelers bonus that, the old trail, with all it's obstacles, can still provide a great gateway into the past."

So... When are we going to run this trail and who want's to join me??

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Give me some time to finish some of the mods I'm planning and I'm in. I'd love to try the explorer on a trail that is a bit on the easy side least till I get my nerves calmed that I didn't mess anything up.

To be honest with you though rick I'd rather go back to Calf. though. It sound like the trails there were fun and I've heard stories about the views.

Im in! The trail is only about 30 minutes from my house. I have never even heard of it before - Now I really want to do it. My rig is only stock so I don't think I will try it until I have seen the whole trail. I will try and get my friend to take me in his lifted Blazer so I can see what it is like first.

Sounds good.

As far as CA is concerned, join us for the Truckhaven 2001 run in January. Details are in another thread in this forum.

Hey sounds good Any trail close to Alb. is just my style. I have no idea whare it is but I'm always down for a run. I'll look for the article to see what the deal is.
Robbie J
Albuquerque NM

Rick, I'd love to go. I don't know what kind of a time frame you're looking at though. If you want to put it off that long, late Nov/early Dec would probably work best for me to get time off work. Will this be a short time trip or will you make plans for farmington as well?

Whenever it gets scheduled I'll do my best to make it. I've been itching to get back out west.

Hey Rick,

I'd love to go. It would be an interesting trip. So... when are you thinking on going?

Hmm. October?? How does that sound?

Sounds good. If we do it during the Balloon Fiesta (towards the beginning of October I think)that can be a side activity if you wish. If we make a weekend of it there are plenty of other trails outside of town. I am planning a pre-run this Saturday to check out the trail, unfortunately not in my Explorer.

[Edited by Brian1 on 08-21-2000 at 09:02 PM]


I'll be in Albuquerque the weekend of September 30. When were you thinking of going? I could plan to take a few more days off....

Rick - I've got some vacation time to use up before the holidays hit, so that's not a bad idea. Just pick a date and I'll plan on being there!

Rick, pick a date. The war dept OK'd oct, just gotta talk to the boss about time off.

Brian, you sure you'd want to do it during the fiesta? Traffic is already bad because of the big I being tore up and it will be 100 times worse with the tourists. I agree its a fun thing to experience but it will also be hard to find a hotel won't it? At least for those who might need a place to stay?

Either way let me know when you pick so I can try to get time off.

Good point Kampy, I had not thought about that. During the Baloon Fiesta all of the hotels/motels fill up here in town. So if we want to still do it in October, I would suggest the end of the month. I will try to take some pics of the trail on Saturday just to give an idea of what it is like.


I went and did the La Bajada trail today. It really was not that difficult (but we were in a big Blazer with 35's). It is not a trail for stockers - too many deep ruts and big rocks in the middle of the trail. This trail is very narrow and has some tight switchbacks. The instructions in the magazine are good with the exception of the trail starts to the right of the road not the left. We came to a closed gate on the right fork so we turned around and got on the other fork that took us to the top of the mesa. The hard part is in the switchbacks only which last from the start and go for about 1 mile. Once we got to the top of the mesa there is a rutted dirt road along some powerlines that eventually leads to Santa Fe. There were 2 muddy spots that we kept going through again and again (it was so fun once we learned to roll up the windows :)) I think we actually missed part of the trail (pucker rock) because it is so confusing as to where to go (I think the trail as described in the GPS log actually goes through the gate but we decided not to go through it). I want to do it again and try to find where the rest of the trail is.

So when are we going to set the date? Stockers can still come because there are other trails in the area that can be done. I had fun and I am looking foward to the Explorer run here.

Sounds good Brian. Thanks for making the pre-run. The rule for gates in Arizona is that unless they are marked otherwise you can go through them. You just need to leave them as you found them. That is, if they were closed, close it behind you, if it was open leave it that way.

I wold like to wait until we get back from CO before we come up with a firm date on this run.

It looks like I won't be able to make it in Oct. To make a long story short,the guy I work with has an injury to his spinal column so he will be off work for quite a while. Theres only two of us so I have to babysit the operation while training someone new. I'll keep my eye on the thread so if it gets pushed back I might be able to make it.

Consolation prize: Since I can't venture too far from home only having a weekend to do it I'm going to hit Attica with Riff and the guys. Almost an even swap.

don't mind me....i just wanted to keep an eye on this thread....i like that auto update thing.....

Bringing this back up to the top.

I just ran this trail today for the first time in about 9 years and the first time I ever did the entire trail in my Explorer. This trail is very fun and every time I run it I think about Jack whom I never had the opportunity to meet even though we lived close.

I also think about what it was like in the old days when this used to be the road up La Bajada mesa and the Model Ts that ran the switchbacks in reverse. Here are a few pictures from today








Cool stuff Brian:thumbsup: Did you get new wheels? I've always liked that style.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Added a 2min30sec video.

Dave, I have had them for about a year and a half. I like them too :thumbsup: