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Monticello Canyon, NM Trip Report

Brian1

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 2, 2000
Messages
5,310
Reaction score
428
City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
I took a day trip today to go run Monticello Canyon which is about 30 miles north of TorC, New Mexico. I arrived in the very small town of Monticello around 11 and began the trip toward the canyon. Once past the first few ranches and near the first water crossings I saw a couple of deer not too far away. I saw more deer along the way.

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The trail is a state/county road that runs through the Monticello Box Canyon. There are a few springs in the area so water runs across the trail in many places

1 of the many (50+) water crossings, this one near the beginning:
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Getting closer toward the box canyon the road followed the stream more and more
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This quickly became one of my favorite, non-rockcrawling trails in NM for exploring
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The valley was really green however the hills and plains in the area were very brown and dry
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The canyon narrows
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The box canyon:
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I got out of the canyon around 12:30 so it took me 1 1/2 hours at a pretty good pace stopping occasionally to get out for pictures.
 
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Brian1

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 2, 2000
Messages
5,310
Reaction score
428
City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
After leaving the canyon it was around 14 miles to the next turnoff into the Cibola Forest. This was the first trip I planned completly using Google Earth and laying a path in the program and then transfered it to my GPS. It worked great.

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The road into Bear Trap Canyon
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I stopped for a quick lunch and then continued on to the Mt Withington lookout turnoff which was 4 miles 1 way from the main forest road I was on. The road did get much rougher but 4wd was not needed. The lookout tower was staffed and the views from the top were really nice

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I got to the top around 2:30 and then made quick time back down to the main road and the remaining distance to Hwy 60. I got back to Albuquerque a little after 5, I left at 7:45am. The weather was great all day long and the total trip was just over 300 miles.
 
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