Ascent of Hat Mesa on 2008-01-18

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Friday, January 18, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Hat Mesa
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:3920 ft / 1194 m

Ascent Trip Report

At virtual mile post 6.4 on NM-176, I turned S on a gravel road identified by a Duke Energy field services sign. Note or zero your odometer here. At 0.6 miles I followed the main road R at a fork. A side road goes straight ahead. At 0.9, 1.3, and 1.6 miles are forks; in each case I stayed straight where a side road went L. At 2.3 miles is a 5-way junction where I took the leftmost choice. At 3.0 miles, the road gains the rim of the mesa. At 3.1 miles is a junction. To the left of this point are the 2 large northern 3920+ areas, which I visited; to the right is a line of many small areas.

The R fork of this junction continues to a gravel pit at 3.5 miles on the R side of the road. The highest ground in this area is an obviously man-made gravel pile. The height of the highest natural ground nearby is anyone's guess. I parked at a turnout by the gravel pit and began my hike to explore the two southernmost 3920+ areas of the northern lobe of Hat Mesa, as well as all areas in the southern lobe.

The two southern areas of the northern lobe are near a wildlife management area. From this vantage point I could tell that, of the 3920+ areas on the N rim of the mesa, the large area on the E side of the road is higher than all of the many small bumps on the W side. I then made the 1.5 mile hike to visit all 3920+ areas on the southern lobe. I determined by visual inspection that the highest point of the southern lobe is definitely the southwesternmost area.

Hat Mesa is in the middle of a gas field, with gas wells, pumps, and tanks scattered about. The land appears to be BLM: some grazing takes place and there is a small WMA. During my visit, I passed by several service trucks that appeared to be related to the gas wells, and no one seemed to mind my being there.
Summary Total Data
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:1 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:1 Minutes

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