Rociada Trail 2020

After harrowing car rides up the frightening road to Iron Gate Campground, eleven NMVFO volunteers hiked a mile up Hamilton Mesa Trail #249 and began Rociada Trail #250, hiking three miles gradually down the side of Hamilton Mesa to a wide canyon meadow, Mora Flats, near the trail intersection with Las Trampas Trail #240, to establish our base camp. Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico (BCHNM), Pecos Chapter, carried our tools and supplies down to camp.

After a rain shower half of us continued on up Rociada towards Skyline Trail to clear fallen trees and brush, and the other half climbed most of the way back up Hamilton Mesa and lopped Gambel Oak, wild rose, potentilla, and aspen.

More rain continued as we returned to camp, and after dark rain resumed for an hour.

The next day we used the same teams in the same directions, before returning to camp and making our own dinners and gabbing for our final evening.

On Sunday we all lopped as much as possible going west, then returned and struck camp in time for BCH to arrive, then back out towards Iron Gate. On the way, we completed lopping the last section of Rociada between Hamilton Mesa Trail and Mora Flats.

Thanks to project leader Mike, Nick, Kevin, Evelyn and Juliana, Anna and Julie, Dominic and Mari, and Cecily for terrific work and company.

Author: Jim, Sagebrush

Jim (trail-name Sagebrush) codes audio software for Windows, Linux, Android, and embedded systems. When not working at, he enjoys backpacking, which this blog is about.