Glorieta Ghost Town LbNA # 41435
|Placed Date||Jul 3 2008|
|Location||Santa Fe/Pecos, NM|
Total distance: 6.5 miles (3 1/2 hours leisurely walk with 1/2 hour break at ghost town).
Directions: I-25 north past Santa Fe to Exit 299 (Glorieta). Take left at top of ramp and left again at T intersection. Inform guard at gate (if present) that you will be hiking the ghost town trail. Take a right on Oak street and stay on it. It will turn hard right after about a 1/2 mile and you must follow it (otherwise, you will be on Willow street). Park at the old fire house (a sign says "Hikers Park here").
The Hike: Walk across the bridge and turn right. Follow the road through the RV campground and sign in at the trail register. At the end of the campground, pass through the hiker's gate and follow the signs for "Ghost Town Trail". It is basically to the right (whereas Glorieta Baldy is to the left). As a general rule, this trail follows the streambed up the canyon to the ghost town. Sometimes the stream is flowing freely, sometimes it is dry. At some point, you should encounter water in the stream. The only tricky part is in the very beginning. Stay on the well worn path so that the culvert (covered drainage pipe) stays on your right and continue on the path (you'll know when you see it). You'll know you are on the right trail, also, when you come across the remnants of an old automobile (about 1/2 hour into hike). When you come to the ghost town, wander around a bit and take it in... there are ruins of an old 2-story hotel (which was mostly buried when I placed the box) and lumber by-products (bark) stacked by the stream where the sawmill used to be. There is also another old auto that is a key feature of this site.
The Letterbox: With your back to the sawmill (and remmants) and the old auto to your left, walk ~30 paces away from the sign and turn left (at the poplars with fire-damaged trunks). Proceed another 30 paces to two rock outcroppings that would be directly in front (about 100ft) of the old auto IF you could see it through the growth (which you can't). Your reward is under the lower rock outcropping. Grab the box, proceed out to a nice sitting area and stamp in. There is also a disposable camera in the box, so feel free to take a self-portrait of you stamping (or be creative, or not). Enjoy a snack, drink some water, replace the box, and enjoy the MUCH easier hike back down!
CAUTION: This is rated an easy to moderate hike, but depending on the season and time of day, can present challenges. Bring water and the appropriate clothing, and MOST IMPORTANTLY check the weather! It was sunny and blue when I began this hike at 10am. A stormy cold rain (with vicious hail) was pounding me by the time I reached my car a few hours later. I would also advise having a hiking buddy. A plethora of wildlife (from birds to a reported mountain lion) has been seen on this trail, so use common sense!