San Juan County High Point Trip Report

Beautiful Mountain

Date: October 1, 2002
Author: Scott Surgent

This proved to be for me a convenient time to go get that one, since it's not far inside NM from AZ, but way up north on the Navajo Nation. Adam and I drove through Sanostee and up the various roads to below the summit. We used Jobe Wymore's report with great success. Adam got great practice in his shiny new truck using 4wd up the final roads and did very well.

The hike took just under 2 hours round trip, including about 20 minutes on top. Navigation was easy - we noted certain landmarks and other than minor detours down low, never got truly lost. The top was surely beautiful but we made Beautiful Mountain more so by removing some pop cans scattered in the area.

Drive out was interesting: we followed one road for about a mile to a junction, which we both agreed we had not seen, so we backtracked and came down our "correct" route, which led us right back to that junction! Saw some mules. Started to rain so we hoped the roads would stay dry a little longer, and they did. Parted ways in Gallup, and drove home that afternoon.

Comment: From the summit, looking east-southeast, I noted what seemed to be a road on top of the plateau. Has anyone ever checked this out? Nothing shown on the maps, and we weren't that motivated to go find it.

My statistics: 532 round-trip miles to/from Phoenix, 24 hours; 24 NM HPs, 282 counties overall.
The hike itself was 2 miles round-trip with about 900 - 1000 feet net gain.