Ascent of Maple Peak on 2014-03-26

Climber: Ken Jones

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Maple Peak
    Elevation:8294 ft / 2528 m

Ascent Trip Report

My drive:

At the junction of US Hwy 180 and NM Hwy 78, about a mile south of Alma NM, head west on County Road 004/USFS Rd 106. (NM Hwy 78 heads east from this junction.) Follow CR004 about 3/4 mile to a high bridge over Mineral Creek and another 3/4 mile to a junction with CR008. (This spot could also be reached from Alma via CR017 and CR008, but this involves a ford of Mineral Creek which could be an issue if there is much water running.) Continue on CR004 almost 2 more miles to the signed junction with CR003, onto which turn south. I followed CR003 about 9 miles to Smoothing Iron (instead of taking CR045 which goes to the same place but is reported to be rougher). There is a wash crossing in the vicinity of Smoothing Iron which is where the road begins to get rough - a passenger car should be okay to this point, but beyond it high clearance and good traction are mandatory. Continue, if you have the vehicle for it, west and northwest from Smoothing Iron on USFS 106 (as labeled on maps, but the local signage is something like 4504?). With high clearance you can negotiate rocks and ruts to the vicinity of point 6568 on the map. With 4WD you can continue down to the saddle and fenceline just beyond, but without 4WD you might have trouble driving back up to 6568 after the hike.

My hike:

The trail shown on the map is not obvious on the ground. Instead, I passed through the gate and contoured westward and down into Snare Canyon. Initially there was not much trail in the canyon bottom, but I persevered westward and picked up a fairly consistent trail around the middle of Section 20. This continues past Snare Tank and Maple Peak Tank before becoming fairly obscure in spots just before reaching the saddle at about 7050'. It doesn't matter a lot where you hit the saddle, as the trail and signs are at its south end and you want to head north anyway. Pick up the trail leading north to Maple Peak, which is shown on newer topo maps. If you pay close attention to cairns, old blazes on trees, and the often obscure tread you should be able to follow the trail to the peak. You'll need to bear left at a minor junction just southeast of the peak, but it's obvious that you want to go up and not down at this point. The trail goes around the east side of the summit staying right of the fenceline. There is a gate in the fence just below the summit to facilitate your access to the peak and register. Consult my attached GPS track for detailed routing.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2194 ft / 667 m
    Extra Gain:200 ft / 60 m
    Route:Maple Peak Trail
    Trailhead:Gate on USFS road  6500 ft / 1981 m
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 32 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 13 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Ken Jones
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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