Caballo Mountans

We go on a 2 day trip over the Caballo Mts

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Volcanic intrusion lifted the sedimentary rock?

We start with Day one

Go to day two

  Day 1
There are some mountains east of T or C (Truth or Consequences) New Mexico. The GPS shows a trail that would take us up a gap (Palomas Gap), and then run along the ridge of the Caballo Mts. Sounds good to me, get out the map and GPS and plot a route.
  Any time you go into a remote area you should call a reliable friend or family member and leave your expected route and when you report back, the reason is if you break down or get injured you want somebody to go looking for your body.  I used to check in with the forest service until I learned that the forest service will NOT go looking for you until a family member calls the forest service to say you are missing!
  I would not call these true mountains the map shows the east side of the mountains to be a gentle slope up and the west side, pretty much vertical cliff. As if the crust were tilted up.
  From T or C Head east on Rt 51 Just after crossing over the Rio Grande itís a hard right turn onto dirt. The graded dirt road runs between the Caballo Mtns and the Rio Grande.
When you look up to the towering mountains the top 1/3 is a semi cliffy the bottom 2/3 are rubble, the tallest peak is 8091 ft.
  We got to see a rare sight, a Roadrunner!  In all my travels to the Southwest, the last time I saw a Roadrunner was in 1966! For the size of the bird (the body is about the size of a large robin) they have long tail feathers, a long neck and a plume on top of their head. The graded road stops at a cattle gate "if the gate is open leave it open, if the gate is closed close it after you go through, IF the gate has a NO TRESPASSING sign TURN AROUND simple words to live by. The area is littered with roads stay on the well used one. After about 7 miles to your south east, you will see a gap (Palomas Gap) about 2 miles away, turn left off of the well traveled road, while not as well traveled, this is definitely a road that's been used. You will see a road climbing the wall on the north side of the gap, this is not our road, our road climbs the south side of the pass.
  As you start to head up (at the base of the gap you're altitude is about 4500 feet and the Rio Grand River is about 4300 ft.) the road you have a great view of the road on the north side of the pass which shortly ends in a dead-end, you can also see the bottom of the pass while that road has had quite a bit of traffic in it, it quickly dead-ends at a waterfall. You twist and turn steadily gaining altitude on a road that has been carved out of the near vertical wall of the Gap.
Behind you on some of the turns you get a good view of the Rio Grande Valley.  A wide ribbon, of lush green in an otherwise reddish brown landscape. Depending on how full the Caballo reservoir is, you may just see the northern end of it. The Palomas gap has a dry stream running through it, I would love to be here after a rain and watched the dry stream, alive with churning and boiling water.  Unlike streams in the east of the US. streams out West tend to lose altitude by waterfall, usually separated by sandy bottoms with rocks strewn about. Now I'm not saying that they are large waterfalls, the largest one Iíve seen in this stream may be as high as 20 feet.  The size of the waterfall depends on how thick of supplementary layer is that the water is falling over. We stopped and had lunch at WP 340 a good camping site with a view of the Palomas stream and Gap.
  By the time you come out the other side of the gap you're altitude is about 4900 feet. The ground has changed color from tan sand to finer red colored sand.  From here we will eventually be going up to 7500 ft. altitude at the top of Timber Mountain. At waypoint 20 you go strait the map shows that from this waypoint either strait or right will bring you back together at waypoint 21. I went strait. At waypoint 22 I took a right, the map shows that this road goes through, however it ends at somebody's Ranch.  Where I met several gentleman, one of whom turned out to be the ranch owner. He said "the road does not go through" I got out my GPS and showed him the road and the offshoot to ďred tankĒ (on the map). (Out in the west maps show named tanks, now a tank is for water, it may be a metal tank or it may be an earthen berm that holds back Rainwater.) He also claimed no knowledge of "red tank" he did say however that this farm used to belong to the Red family.  He suggested as a way around, to go back to waypoint 22 and take a right  When you get to the graded road take another right.  Graded road?  Well that is one of the chances you take when you map a root out using a map, the map says it's a dirt road you don't know if it's graded, gravel, paved now, passable or even still there! We turn around and follow his instructions. Ahead of us we can see the mountain (
Timber Mt) and the towers on it.  I would guess this is the access road for the towers so they can get repair vehicles up the mountain. I would expect the road to be graded.  We head up the graded road it shortly turns into a set of switchbacks as the terrain becomes steeper and steeper. At the first switchback is a gate, the gate was locked in the open position (thank you). As we continue up the graded road to our east we were treated to vistas of the valley and beond to the San Andres Mountains in the western edge of the  White Sands missile range.  The road also cuts through layers of white rock (gypsum). When rain dissolves this rock it seeps into the ground and leaches out. When the water evaporates from the solution you end up with white sands, which really isn't sand but gypsum.
  As we neared the top you could see all kinds of antennas, there had to be 50 or 60 of them. Since there on a precipice overlooking the Valley they did not need to be very tall, I don't think any of them are over 50 feet tall. From the edge of the precipice we had a great view of the two lakes Elephant Butte reservoir to the north and Caballo reservoir just west of us. Both of these lakes were strikingly blue, in part because the surrounding area had a red tinge to the earth. A mineral (I forget witch mineral it is) is  responsible for turning the lakes such a rich blue color.  The shade of blue depends on the size of the crystals in the water.  You also had a great view of the San Andres Mtns.  I would love to go explore in those Mountains.  They have 7 to 8,000 ft peaks and rugged.  But alas they are in the White Sands Missile Range and closed to the public.  Hey, wasnít the government supposed to give back that land to the owners after 25 years? Because of all the radio transmitters the air seemed to be alive, you could actually hear humming and sizzling. It was getting late and Sue did not like all the EM flying around (and I definitely felt fuzzy), so we headed down to a lower altitude to make camp.
 The map showed that we had crossed our road that continued along the ridge, I did not see it on the way up so I was looking hard for it on the way down. I found a road to our left, I figured this must be where we crossed the road.  But there was no road on the right. However a couple of hundred feet further down the GPS beeped. After getting out of the Jeep and looking. I found a road on the right it was hidden on the switchback, Ha I found it! Back in the Jeep I continued to retrace my trip down and look for some place to camp. Just before we had started up the switchbacks I had noticed a road on the right.  On the way down we took a left onto the road.
A half-mile later on the back side of a small hill I found a flat spot and we set up camp at Waypoint Camp at 5900 feet.
  The shadows from the Caballo Mountains to our West came racing at us.  As soon as the sun went away the temperature dropped like a lead balloon! It got so cold and windy that we skipped dinner and were in bed by 6 PM with an outside temperature of 18 degrees!!
 

Tomorrow we continue down the Caballo Mts ridge rd to Brushy Mt

Palomas Gap

The stradi that make the falls.

It may be safe from predators... but OUCH!

Out in the middle of no-were is this foundation?

Caballo reservoir

Elephant Butte reservoir

GPS waypoints

01

hard right

N33 08.719 W107 12.481

02

left

N33 08.668 W107 13.022

03

strait

N33 07.967 W107 13.604

04

right

N33 06.470 W107 15.036

05

 

N33 05.655 W107 15.977

06

strait

N33 05.187 W107 16.076

07

left

N33 04.522 W107 16.081

08

right

N33 04.584 W107 15.649

09

right

N33 04.306 W107 15.221

10

 

N33 03.543 W107 14.278

11

left

N33 02.897 W107 14.551

12

left

N33 02.653 W107 14.374

13

strait

N33 02.849 W107 14.088

14

 

N33 02.884 W107 13.392

15

enter wash right

N33 02.913 W107 13.173

16

exit wash left

N33 02.659 W107 12.983

17

strait

N33 02.682 W107 12.689

18

cross wash

N33 02.854 W107 12.620

19

right

N33 02.910 W107 11.899

20

strait

N33 02.694 W107 11.410

21

strait

N33 01.031 W107 10.075

22

strait

N33 00.027 W107 09.611

23

right

N32 59.589 W107 09.165

24

strait

N32 58.615 W107 11.719

25

top of Timber Mt 7546 ft

N32 58.114 W107 13.642

Camp

 

N32 59.122 W107 13.017

 

Smog running up the valley from El Paso!

Download GPS Track for Timber Mt

Day one first part map

Day one second part

Day one third part


Day 2 of the Caballo Mts Trip

Views from the ridge Rd.

Brushy Mt with the Rd down.

Odyssey Day 41 Wednesday
Caballo Mt trip Day 2
 
Up at 8 AM, it actually warmed up overnight. It's 32 degrees out, since we had no dinner last night we are hungry! For breakfast I made my patented "Turkey Surprise" for breakfast.  Because it was so-cold out last night there was a lot of condensation on the tent from our breathing.  Not wanting to pack everything up wet, I had to wait for the sun to come up over the hill that we were camped next to for the sun to dry out everything, so we didn't leave camp until 11:30 AM. We headed back up Timber Mountain to our turn off at waypoint 2. As the road twists and turns it moves in and out of the sunlight I notice in the shadows shiny smears on the road.  I started to think that the smears looked more like ice. I got out of the Jeep to check one of the smears out, it was in fact ice!  During the night water had seeped out of the road and frozen. We made our left turn towards Brushy Mountain, for an unmaintained road this one is in great shape.  For most of the time where the road that runs along the ridge its actually a fair distance to the east of the ridge, however for one brief period the Rd is the ridge! With some grate views to either side. With vistas of the Rio Grande Valley and some pretty good views to the east of us of the valley between us and San Andres Mountains about 40 miles away.  The view would have been spectacular except for the smog coming up the valley from Las Cruces and El Paso!  We did however get to drive-through a lot of----- it's real nice to be in green. Altitude seems to make all the difference for plant life we started to get into the----- at about 7000 feet. Once we got to Brushy mountain there were a whole bunch of trails, we stay on the main trail which found its way through a small cow pasture every once in a while through the------ trees you could see the remnants of mining. Usually a small hole and a pile of rock, dilapidated shed and tin cans. We did find several that had signs posted on them that gave you the impression, that it was pretty much a certainty, if you got caught messing with the claim it would be the last thing you did. This mountain did not have the shear cliff that Timber Mountain had. It was difficult to find a place to walk up to the edge, because the top sloped steeper and steeper towards the cliff, and it was covered with------- trees so about the time that you got a good view of the Rio Grande Valley you began to wonder if you're going to slide over the edge.  For lunch we have the rest of my turkey surprise.
  It was time to head back to T or C.  We had to back track about one mile for our turn that headed east and down off the mountain. While the road along the ridge was in excellent shape the road leading down the ridge was a bit rough with grapefruit sized rocks, you sort of bounced and slid down. You shortly come to a road on the right at waypoint 11 from here on out its graded road.  For further down the mountain you go the more sparse and dryer the terrain becomes. Once you're down in the valley that's where you run into cattle. Turn left onto the main road and in a little wile you come to a cattle guard and Lyon Slater Ranch, actually you don't come to it as much as go through it.  The Ranch is on the GPS map, this is certainly not the Ponderosa there are two buildings on the right and one on the left, a water tank and several cattle pens. After you go through the Ranch the road becomes a highway and follows along a set of high tension wires.  The way I had mapped out our route at waypoint 17a I had intended to go straight.  Actually I missed this turn.  At the next intersection I turned left and got back on track. This took us off of the graded road and on to a rather poor road that followed along some telephone poles.  This road was very rocky and twisty and ended up at a fence and gate with no trespassing signs on the gate.  At this point we were only two miles from the paved road and needed to back track three miles to where I had seen a road to the right and the GPS showed that it reconnected with the main dirt road.  We reconnected with the main road at waypoint 22. I would suggest you stay on the main road. Once this road dumped us on to Hw 52 we headed back to T.  or C.. 

This is prime grazing land!

Ocotilla

Timber Mt from main Rd

Down load GPS Track of day 2 of Caballo Mt. trip to Bushy Mt

01

Camp

N32 59.150 W107 13.010

02

turn left off of access rd

N32 58.138 W107 13.313

03

 

N32 57.864 W107 13.060

04

 

N32 57.863 W107 13.061

05

 

N32 56.375 W107 13.132

06

 

N32 56.168 W107 13.286

07

 

N32 56.230 W107 13.433

08

 

N32 56.071 W107 13.562

09

 

N32 56.017 W107 13.468

10

South along ridge, east return exit

N32 56.582 W107 12.987

11

 

N32 56.347 W107 12.522

12

 

N32 56.169 W107 10.700

13

 

N32 55.998 W107 09.822

14

 

N32 56.787 W107 07.213

15

 

N32 56.844 W107 07.213

16

 

N32 58.584 W107 07.162

17

Power line ROAD

N32 59.295 W107 06.889

17a

 

N33 02.279 W107 08.388

18

Rt Stay on main rd

N33 03.704 W107 08.255

19

 

N33 04.687 W107 09.606

20

End at No Trespassing

N33 07.006 W107 10.797

21

 

N33 04.692 W107 09.608

22

Left on main rd

N33 05.160 W107 07.127

23

Left onto HWY 52

N33 07.746 W107 06.358

Day 2 part 1

Day 2 part 2

Day 2 part 3


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