Albuquerque Senior Centers' Hiking Groups (ASCHG)

Arroyo del Tajo Upper Hike
In Socorro Region

Hike Id H10278
Last Update 2018-05-22 22:03:36.0
Hike Class C
Hike Miles 5.9
Minimum Elevation 5135
Elevation Gain 490
Total Uphill 510
Total Downhill 510
Avg Grade 4 %
Route Type InOut
Drive Miles Round Trip 180
Drive Time Oneway 1:45
Hiking Seasons Sprg, Fall, Wntr
Hike Rating (3.8 by 4 hikers)
New Mexico Game Unit 18
GPS Recommended Yes

Highlights Colorful arroyo, some badlands, ruins, long views at the top.

Cautions The hike is off trail. Poles may be useful.

Trailhead Directions From Albuquerque take I-25 south to the Lemitar exit. Go east for 0.5 mile on SR 408 E. Turn right onto SR-408 and go 3 miles to Escondido (Hidden) Lake. Turn left and go 1.6 miles (the road curves to the right after crossing the Rio Grande) to a sign "Quebradas Back Country Scenic Byway." Turn left and go 9.5 mi. to PARK (0.0 mi). Park on the right after crossing the arroyo where there is a pullout.

Actual Hike Cross the road and go east into the arroyo. Follow the arroyo untill you approach a 10 foot drop and go OUT LEFT (0.2 mi) finding a faint path to the top of the drop. Proceed uphill through the OCOTILLO FOREST (0.3 mi) , and then drop down into the arroyo, crossing the "Cement Floor". There will be a number of ocotillo on this hike. In the spring they might be in bloom. Continue up the arroyo. There will be colorful low side cliffs, stone floor areas, and small drops (ok, a few are not so small). There will be a fair amount of rubble spots also. The arroyo takes a sharp RIGHT (1.1 mi) and widens out, reaching the FENCE (1.3 mi) which anyone but Gulliver should be able to walk under. There is a very interesting narrow run-up ahead and more colorful rock until the WYE (2.0 mi) is reached. Shortly beyond the wye take the RORSHACH (2.0 mi) test in the mottled stone floor. Stay right in the main water course which goes into the BOX CANYON (2.1 mi). Then return to the UP LEFT (2.1 mi) point and go right where there will be a "trail" taking you to the BOX HEAD (2.1 mi). Yes, this is the easy way up. At the top you can look into the box from above. Beyond this point follow the water course, using a cattle trail as a guide until a two track is found as the top of the arroyo is reached. Then bear upward to the EAST VIEW (2.9 mi) where there will be a panoramic east view to look at. Return the way you came, being sure to visit the CABIN (4.0 mi) on the left after the WYE.

Comments This hike is rated a C due to challenging terrain.

Map created by TOPO!® ©2011 National Geographic

Map File Download it.  Usually a larger image.

PARK: N 34 03.321, W 106 46.476
BARRIER: N 34 03.416, W 106 46.284
OUT LEFT: N 34 03.414, W 106 46.310
OCOTILLO FOREST: N 34 03.491, W 106 46.267
RIGHT: N 34 03.828, W 106 45.618
FENCE: N 34 03.737, W 106 45.472
RORSHACH: N 34 03.683, W 106 44.943
WYE: N 34 03.686, W 106 44.954
BOX CANYON: N 34 03.636, W 106 44.950
BOX HEAD: N 34 03.625, W 106 44.948
UP LEFT: N 34 03.661, W 106 44.940
EAST VIEW: N 34 03.052, W 106 44.851
CABIN: N 34 03.720, W 106 44.990

GPS Files Click link to download file.
GPX:WayTrack, 12Oct10, Garmin, Dick Brown

Pictures Click here to see them.

Text Author Dick Brown
Map Author Marilyn Warrant
Waypoints Author Dick Brown
Track Author Dick Brown
Maintainer Tom Dieterle