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Caballo Mountain Bike and Hike, Jemez Mountains, New Mexico

August 1, 2009

Leader and Author: Dennis Brandt

Participants: Kathleen Gruetzmacher, Karen Grace, Dennis Brandt, and Jan Studebaker

Dennis' Slideshow: click here.      Jan's Slideshow: click here.       Map: click here.

On August 1st Karen, Kathleen, Jan, and Dennis climbed Caballo Mountain on a combined mountain biking/hiking trip.  Early August proved to be a wonderful time of the year for this outing.  Due to recent rains the high meadows had an exceptional number of blooming flowers, and chanterelle mushrooms were growing on rocky north-facing slopes.

Kathleen, Dennis, Karen, and Jan.

We started at 8:00 a.m., riding our bikes about 4 miles to a point above the Guaje Canyon overlook (via the Canada Bonita trail), where the views were great.  We left our bikes near the overlook and traveled on foot to the bottom of Guaje Canyon (down 900 ft.) and then to the top of Caballo Mt. (up 1800 ft.).  After having lunch under somewhat ominous skies; amid a profusion of colorful wildflowers and beautiful vistas, we returned to the bikes and rode back to Pajarito Mountain, getting back to our cars and some well-earned cold beverages at about 5:00 p.m.

Pajarito Ski Area as seen from Caballo Mountain.
The Sandia Mountains can be seen in the left background.

Trail conditions were good all the way to the top of Caballo Mountain, thanks to excellent Forest Service maintenance.  However, there was some erosion on the steeper trail sections, due to recent heavy rainstorms.  Riding to the Guaje overlook was fun and exciting with our intermediate cycling skills - providing just the right number of obstacles to keep our attention.  There was evidence of bears recently turning over some pretty big rocks along the trailside to get to the insects underneath.

Caballo high meadow flora.

The trip was strenuous and satisfying Ė and we were quite grateful that we didnít have to contend with any rain that day.  This is a beautiful trip and I recommend it highly.


Send your trip reports, comments, updates, and suggestions about this site to
Jan Studebaker

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