Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monticello Canyon, NM

I've had my eye on doing this trip for a while now and not being familiar with the area, I have been putting it off, that is until this weekend. Recieved an email from Kirk (Kai38) from ExpeditionPortal.com asking if I was interested in going, of course I jumped at the chance, and boy was I glad I did!!! Monticello is a small village northwest of T or C, NM. On the outskirts of the village is a county rd. which travels through the canyon for approx. 17 miles. Now one thing I have learned living here in NM is, even state hiways can be dirt roads and this county rd is no exception. The road travels the length of the canyon......but so does a small or large creek (depending on rainfall) and the road runs through the creek a countless number of times. This makes for an interesting and beautiful drive. Ok, on with the show. Pictured above is the town square area where we all met up to get everyone on the same page before we hit the trail.
Part of the town square is this old church, looks to have been renovated lately, but staying with old NM heritage.

Courtyard entrance to one of the old building in the square.

You can enter the canyon right outside of town, or you can take the forest service roads into the higher country. This route you over look and traveling through several other canyons and come out at the half way point of Monticello Canyon, which is the route we took. Here we are just leaving town and heading up.

and up.

We stopped for a break at this very scenic but exposed spot, the veiws we incredible as they were during the entire trip.

Again beautiful scenery everywhere you look

We stopped for lunch at this old corral found at the bottom of one of the several canyons.

Not much farther till our goal, just down and around the next corner.

Ahhhh made it, the canyon bottom is alive with trees, cattle and small ranches, and with fall in the air, the trees were painted with color.

Water crossing after water crossing, some short, some longer. The canyon begins wide near town and gets progressivly narrower the farther in you go, until it is just wide enough to get through with your vehicle at the end.

Poser rock, everyone has to get their photo op in......lol

The end of the canyon, from here the road travels about another mile though open country out to NM 52.
This was my first trip with Expo Portal folks and what a great bunch they were!!! Looking forward to more travels with them.
This was actually a weekend trip for me, so as the others headed back home, I headed off for a night of camping and another trail in the morning, so stay tuned.

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