Los Alamos County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: June 10, 2007
Author: Tim Worth

The existing reports describe a long hike in from the south. I used an eastern approach which cuts the hiking distance in half. This is a good option if you don't have a full day available for hiking.

The "trailhead" is a dead end logging road on the east edge of Agua Piedra Canyon. Access via Santa Clara Indian Reservation is closed but this location can be reached from Los Alamos. A Sante Fe NF map is helpful, as the route is somewhat confusing and approach roads are poorly marked.


Sorry, no exact mileages. From NM 502(Trinity Drive) in Los Alamos, head west to Diamond Road. Head north then east on Diamond to a roundabout. Turn north on North San Ildephonso Road. Follow this north then east, then make a left(heading east-northeast) on Rendija Road. Look for a sign for a shooting range at this intersection. Rendija Road leaves the residential area, enters Forest Service land, heads downhill, and turns to gravel. After perhaps 4 miles, turn left at an unmarked intersection of gravel roads, just beyond a water tower on the right. This spur road crosses Guaje Creek and heads steeply onto a mesa - high clearence is necessary. There are a mess of roads atop the mesa, along with a gravel pit. Follow the most defined track(FR414) as it heads west-northwest, then north to signed FR 446. Take FR 446 west, then north to FR 446B on the left. This logging road heads west towards Agua Piedra Canyon. Before reaching the canyon the road forks, with the north path heading to the IR boundary and gate, and the south track dead ending in a logged area.

You could begin the hike from the end of either fork. I took the south fork and parked 2.8 air miles from the HP here.

The Hike:

I started at 3:15 PM in rainy conditions. Bushwhacked northwest for 0.5 mile along the northeast edge of Agua Piedra Canyon through logging waste to another logging road, not shown on the topo. This is likely a continuation of the north fork of 446B, beyond the gate. I followed this west as it winded around the south side of Caballo Mountain to a dead end. From here I slowly bushwhacked north up steep slopes through deadfall, burn devastation, and new undergrowth to Caballo's northeast ridge. Found an overgrown trail atop the ridge which led to a grassy area just southwest of the summit. Walked the south slopes to go over the liner CoHP, then to the densely wooded top. Cairn, Roach/Roach/Covill register from 2005, only one signer since then. On return, followed old trail atop the northeast ridge until it vanished near the saddle with Point 9614. Bushwhacked south to logging road, back to vehicle by 7 PM. It was a very sloppy drive back to Rendija Canyon, as the consistent rain had turned the dirt roads into a soupy mess.

Climb statistics: 6.75 miles, 3.75 hours, 2,500 feet of gain.