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Thinair 07-28-2015 08:57 PM

NEW MEXICO - boondocking/rockdocking - Carson NF
9 Attachment(s)
Having developed a profound thirst for remote sites that we can get our '65 Globe Trotter in and out of, and being inspired by Ray Eklund and the great company we met in Apache NF a couple weeks ago, we went in search of similar adventure closer to home this weekend. We chose to explore the high country off US 64 about an hours drive west of Taos, and hit a "mother lode" of beautiful and reasonably accessible sites with tremendously varied attractions for us; wildlife viewing, the best wildflowers in 20 years or more, an auspicious start to the wild mushroom season, and geologic interest in old mining sites scattered about the mountains. Our camps were between 9650' - 10,000' MSL... If pictures are worth a thousand words, I'll save myself a lot of typing with attachments below.

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aka ThinAir

Utah Man 07-28-2015 09:26 PM

Nice, great pictures.

Thalweg 07-28-2015 09:59 PM

That's a beautiful spot Chris. Is that blue rock copper?

Lily&Me 07-29-2015 06:01 AM

Beautiful, Chris!

Is that a pit house ruin I see there?


D Greene 07-29-2015 06:40 AM

Thanks for posting. I really enjoyed the photos. Brings back memories of that beautiful area.

Thinair 07-29-2015 08:11 AM

Thanks for the comments!

- Maggie, happy to see that you and Lily are home safely, it was great seeing you in Taos. That's not a pit house, but old mine diggings, which are scattered about the area. There are even pegmatite mines found in these mountains, lots of rock hunting for those inclined.

- Brent, the rock appears to be some sort of copper bearing schist, a cupro-sulfate/silicate of sorts? We found some schist containing garnet nearby too.

Phoedis 07-29-2015 12:35 PM

Would you consider sharing the GPS location if you have it? We'll be in New Mexico for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta then looking to explore! We love boondocking!

Doc Foster 07-29-2015 06:07 PM

Nice pics
That is a fantastic boondocking site!

Thinair 07-30-2015 10:20 AM

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Phoedis - I don't have GPS data for the site, but have Google Earth app imagery that will reveal the site from easy landmarks (the mobile app doesn't afford place marks or GPS).

The site is accessed from Hopewell Lake, off US 64, west of Tres Piedras. Follow FS road 91B approx. 2 miles from the pavement to the right turn out shown on the second image.

The FS road is good, all weather type road bed, a little rough in spots, but really not bad. I crawl thru rough areas at 5-7 mph easily enough. The site is used by hunters in fall, and sees some local weekend use in summer. We policed the site of some previous camper's trash and left it clean. That said, it's remarkably private and we saw no vehicle traffic, only a couple mountain biker ride thru the FS road our last morning.

We saw a large bear the evening we drove in a few miles from the site, and a trophy sized mule deer buck in velvet across the meadow from our campsite.

The site is 9670' msl, and would be spectacular in fall w/ the aspens, but would routinely see freezing temps overnight after early to mid September, so be aware. Also avoid hunting season dates as that traffic would yield an entirely different experience; this is one of the more desirable hunting areas in the state, and changeable fall weather could create access issues off the FS road.


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carl2591 07-30-2015 02:26 PM

you have to use 4wd to get in or out.. is it accessable with 2wd? nice photos..

Tan Son Nhut 07-30-2015 08:34 PM

Thanks for the pictures!

Thinair 07-30-2015 10:44 PM

Thanks for the comments! - I have a 2WD Tundra and had no issue with access, but sustained wet weather could change that equation, getting into the site. The Forest Service roads are sound, but once you pull off, you're driving thru a meadow more or less, and mud is mud...

FWIW, there are a lot of decent pull out campsites along that stretch of FS road, and a fall back FS managed "pay" campground at Hopewell Lake that can be seen in the overview image that I posted earlier. There are numerous options there, regardless. The Carson National Forest ranger station in nearby Tres Piedras would have season & road condition info. These FS roads are generally open thru the fall hunting season, but because of the high elevation, receive a lot of snow after October and are closed until mid-spring, usually early May.

Phoedis 07-31-2015 12:22 PM

Thank you for the great directions and tips. We will be there the second week of October so I'll check their hunting season and weather before heading into it!

Thinair 08-20-2015 07:55 PM

I'd planned to upload a number of new photos from the past weekend of additional boondock locations in the vicinity of my previous location three weeks ago but the AirForums photo upload feature has been 'broken' for days now. I saw another thread about the problem earlier today that mysteriously vanished this pm... yet after trying for the third time just now (to upload images) I'm resorting to this instead... AirForums is broken for the time being... : (

unifreck 08-21-2015 06:35 PM

Thanks for explanation, I was afraid you guys disappeared like Ray and Nancy. Hope all is well with you both.

richw46 08-22-2015 09:01 AM

Get a Yahoo account (free) then get a Flikr account (also free). You can upload a LOT of pictures to Flikr and use the insert image button to link your Flikr pictures to your posts. Never have to worry about using the forum upload again.

Thinair 08-22-2015 11:21 PM

7 Attachment(s)
Wow! - so photo uploads are possible once more... It's been a "no go" situation for days (I use the IOS App for an iPad & iPhone) and I'm happy to be able to share a bit more! - thanks go out to those who corrected the problems.

I wanted to update my previous post after revisiting the same region again last week, and further scouting the area for possible boondocking sites. We found numerous areas that afford complete privacy, coupled with spectacular, gentle, alpine forest along a high ridge that ranges between 9,500-10,000' MSL. Last week we explored secondary pull outs off the primary FS road and we were surprised by the beautiful, secluded boondock sites along the first 3-4 miles of FS 91B from US 64 at Hopewell Lake. I've included a few more photos from our camp area and the adjacent region.


PS: those are wild chanterelles

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Lily&Me 08-24-2015 02:36 PM

Beautiful, Chris. :)


StrmyWeather 09-03-2015 07:45 AM

Beautiful area. Thanks for sharing and providing the detail

eubank 09-03-2015 08:36 AM

You should return to that area at around the end of September. The colors up there are stunning!

Thinair 07-21-2016 02:46 PM

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We revisited the same spot this week that I originally reported on last year and while beautiful in a photograph, the ugly side of public land grazing was inescapable.
We stayed only one night here because of the damage and mess that domestic cattle bring to their environment. Gone were most of the wildflowers from last year and you could scarcely walk a yard in any direction without the pleasure and bouquet of droppings. It's ridiculous that the rights of one "welfare rancher" must be borne by all other forest land users, never mind the environmental impacts that the native species must endure. Public policies regarding land use must be reconsidered and likely will.

For our purposes, we relocated to an area without cattle grazing pressure several miles away...

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KJRitchie 07-21-2016 03:14 PM

Flithy industry.

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