San Miguel County High Point Trip Report

Elk Mountain

Date: September 14, 2003
Author: Scott Surgent

We used reports by Ken Jones and Adam Helman and found them to be accurate and useful. We found the road (FS-646) to be in good shape and navigable by common sense. The information I want to add here for posterity regards the USGS 7.5 quad maps "Elk Mountain" and "Cowles".

One exits NM-63 north of Terrero onto the well-signed FS-646. This is a shade before the road shown going up Willow Creek. It is my belief (I did not GPS this position) that FS-646 is shown as starting here on the Cowles map. However, the map (and the adjoining Rosilla Peak map) shows this road to simply end. However, following Ken's directions, we came to the 3-pronged junction, which I did GPS, and found to be this position (on the Elk Mountain map). We had obviously driven up the steep switchbacks shown to the left, and which, if one simply follows the map "backwards", adjoins the Willow Creek route. Obviously there has been a change. Somewhere along the line the two roads met. While this isn't earth-shattering news, it was nice to me since I like to track my position on my maps whenever possible.

The final junction, in which one turns right and drops a bit, is here. I GPS'd this position to verify. The final road isn't shown on the map.

If you like to know beforehand your road's route, this information may help. We used an SUV, which in these dry conditions, may have been overkill. We drove to the top. Seems to me a good passenger vehicle could manage most of the road with care, as long as it is dry.