|where?||Rincon Ranch, Fence Lake, New Mexico|
For the second year, the Trailblazers are invited for a long weekend outing on a private ranch and wildlife preserve, without the inconvenience of “roughing it”. The lodge’s bedrooms, kitchen and common areas will be available to hikers, with overflow lodging available in the two hunting cabins.
Rincon Ranch is 32.5 square miles of Juniper-Pinion wilderness, ranging in elevation from 6000' to 7500'. Besides herds of elk, deer and antelope, there have been sightings a cougar, bear, bobcats, and a Mexican gray wolf, not to mention the nesting pair of golden eagles soaring overhead.
The topology offers excellent hiking, whether through the junipers atop the mesas or tracing a winding watercourse through ravines, ranging from sanding bottoms to sculptural water-carved caliche. Around every bend is the possibility of animal sightings, unusual geological formations, and evidence of previous cultures.
The Ranch lands have witnessed a progression of cultures, including the indigenous Membres Indians, the Spanish conquistadors, homesteaders and cattlemen. The owner’s dream is to develop the ranch as a destination for hiking, mountain biking and trail riding.
Plan to arrive at the Ranch on Thursday afternoon (May 19), if your schedule allows. Friday and Saturday will be spent scouting and marking appealing hiking trails in two relatively unexplored areas. Those with GPSs can map the routes and landmarks. We will also look for clever places to stash geocaches along the route and mark their coordinates.
In the evening, it’s all hands on deck for a very social meal preparation then family-style dinner around the long lodge table. After kitchen clean-up, count on card games, dominos, social activities, or sitting around the campfire at the cliff’s edge.
Additional information will be distributed to interested hikers.Required:
• Sturdy hiking boots
• At least 3 liters of water
• Rain poncho
• Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
• Lunch or snacks
|distance||7-8 miles on Friday and Saturday, 2-3 miles on Sunday|
|time||6-7 hours on Friday and Saturday (includes lunch on the trail), optional 3 hours on Sunday|
|EC||+-1000' elevation change|
|elevations||6000' (plains) to 7500' (mesas)|
|starting at||Rincon Ranch Lodge|
|rating||"C" Rate yourself as a hiker.|
|cost||$10 per person per night to offset ranch expense; bring food (some provided). When car-pooling, pay your share of the cost of gas (roughly 2 tanks of gas round trip). The club also allows voluntary contributions of $1/member or $3/non-member.|
Fence Lake, New Mexico
Daytime temperatures will run from high 80s to low 90s, with night time temps dropping to the low 60s. As often happens on the Colorado Plateau during July, there may be scattered afternoon thunderstorms in the region.
|meet||Kay will coordinate carpools, leaving Thursday (if possible) from several Phoenix locations.|
Fence Lake is 300 miles from Phoenix.
• Take US 60 east through Globe to Show Low, or AZ 87 to Payson then 260 to Show Low.
• From Show Low, proceed east on Hwy 60 across in New Mexico.
• At Quemado, turn north and travel 40 miles to Fence Lake.
Allow 6.5 hours. I recommend leaving early morning on Friday, because you lose an hour traveling east. Details on finding the Ranch will be sent later. The ranch roads are not recommended for vehicles with low clearance.
updated July 10, 2015