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The Best Hikes in Albuquerque - Socorro BLM

2 Triplog Reviews in the Albuquerque - Socorro BLM
Most recent of 2 deeper Triplog Reviews
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Monticello Box
The last part of my fun three days in New Mexico before heading back to Tucson was to drive through the Monticello Box. This is about a 17 mile run in and out of Alamosa Creek along FR140 from NM52 on the northwest to the town of Monticello on the southeast. It is a pretty easy drive that basically requires high clearance, but four wheel drive is definitely recommended, as there is plenty of driving in water and sandy areas. This would not be the place to be during heavy rains or elevated stream flow however.

I drove it eastbound (downstream), but I would highly recommend going the other direction, saving the best (the narrows and Ojo Caliente) for last. There are a number of ranches along the drive, as this is mostly through private property. The scenery is enjoyable along the entire riparian corridor. I saw two blue herons along the drive, which is to be expected.

It was a fun day indeed:

At Monticello I reached the junction with FR139 that I drove up to Springtime Campground on Friday, thus completing my big loop drive.

It is about 33 miles from Monticello to Winston, where there is a store and gas station. I didn't see any place to buy gas in Monticello, so you would need to fill up in Truth or Consequences if attempting this trip.
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Ojo Caliente (Warm Springs)
After camping at Datil Well, I backtracked east on US60 to the VLA, then headed south on NM52. Followed this road for many miles past Dusty to the turnoff to Monticello Box (FR140). This road basically follows Alamosa Creek for about 17 miles all the way to the town of Monticello. By staying on the primitive road in the creek bed, you will soon encounter boggy areas with water. This is part of the complex of seeps and springs known as Ojo Caliente or Warm Springs. The main spring flow enters Alamosa Creek from the north just before it drops into the narrows of Monticello Box. By following the flow uphill in Spring Canyon for about 1/4 mile you will arrive at the main emergence point. There is lush vegetation along the way and the overgrowth hides the spot. Just past this point, Spring Canyon is again dry, except during rains. There are some nice pools built up here for those that might want to soak in the water.

My goal on this part of my trip was to locate the crumbling walls of the old 1870's Ojo Caliente Military Post and hike to the springs, before driving down through the Box to Monticello. I was successful on all counts and had a wonderful day exploring! :D

What is left of the old army post is on a terrace on the south side of Alamosa Creek, directly across from the springs. For a time this post was also the location of the Warm Springs Apache Reservation, which was abandoned by 1882.

It was fun walking in the warm water to and from the springs: ... iente.html

This is a wonderful area. Much of it is on private property, so hopefully everyone who goes there will treat it with respect.

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