Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Length: 6.2 miles
Closest Town: Grants
Directions: From Grants, take Lobo Canyon Rd (NM 547) towards Tsoodził (Mt. Taylor). After driving for 11 miles, turn right onto the upper loop of Forest Rd 193 and continue east for 5 miles to a small parking lot on the right. You will see the Gooseberry Springs Trailhead right across the road.
USGS 7.5 quadrangles: Lobo Springs and Mount Taylor; USFS: Cibola National Forest – Forest Visitor Map; CDTC Map Set: Maps 084-085, Section NM21.
For More Information:
Cibola National Forest, Mt. Taylor Ranger District: (505)-287-8833.
Leave from the Gooseberry Springs Trailhead across the road from the parking lot. While this hike is 6.2 miles, it is considered moderate to difficult due to the 2,000 feet you’ll gain in elevation from the trailhead, situated at an altitude of 9,175 feet. Should you choose to shorten the hike and turn around before the summit, you’ll still enjoy superb vistas on this CDT alternate. Most choose to take this scenic trail along the dormant stratovolcano, but for a gentler hike, take the official CDT route, which wraps around Tsoodził at lower elevation. Tsoodził is one of the four sacred mountains marking Dinetah, the traditional Navajo territory, and the four cardinal directions.
Photo by Whitney LaRuffa