McKinley County High Point Trip Report

Cerros de Alejandro

Date: May 27, 1998
Author: David Olson

I arrived at the town of San Mateo after dark and found the road marked on the "Roads of New Mexico" Atlas. It was horrible. At the top I intersected a better road and read a sign for my road reading "Primitive Road/Not Maintained/Unsafe for Public Use."

To get to the better road, follow NM state highway 605 that bypasses San Mateo on a diagonal. At 0.1 miles before the end-of-state-maintenance turn left at the "Lee Ranch Coal Mine" sign. In about 0.5 miles that road is closed to the public at a sign reading "Fernandez ... Authorized Personnel Only". At 0.1 miles before that point turn right on a road that quickly reaches the mountain slope and then turns south to side-hill up to the top of the mesa. Five miles past the signed turn-off to Llanito Frio start looking for the right-turn from FR 239 to 202.

With topographic map in hand it is easy to find your way to the saddle north of VABM Alejan, 9166'. It is a steep walk up. For the HP of the Cerros de Guadalupe it does not appear possible to get closer than 2.5 miles west of the HP. The property is owned by Bar JA Ranch and is well fenced and locked-gated. I set my mind on one peak I identified as the HP and I climbed it. Then I found that I had climbed hill 9129 of Grande Ridge. So I set out to go one mile further north to the true HP, 9162'.

The top of the HP slopes gradually northward to a knee-high cairn/rock-heap with a bush growing out of it. A few feet south of the cairn is a pin set in the ground, 8 inches high with a 1.5 inch diameter head to it. Several feet north of the cairn is a thick "grove" of brush with large boulder and outcropping rocks on the west side. The highest of those outcropping rocks is easily two or more feet higher than the pin.