Trail starts at south end of campground through a gate. Immediately you'll come to a river crossing; it is cold and will come to your knees in mid summer. The trail continues through some bushes then it opens up into a large valley. Through the valley the trail can seem to disappear but just keep heading north up the valley. After a mile or so the valley walls start to close in the the trail begins to climb up and over hills.
You'll likely see many wildlife foot prints, elk are numerous. At around 2 miles you'll come to another gate and another river crossing just after. The valley has now become a deep canyon. The river here is fast moving and likely not crossable at high flows, so check river flow before attempting (rio chama above chama gauge), 100 cfs was a good flow at that gauge.
The trail climbs steeply after this to a small stream crossing, after that there is a fork, the main trail goes right, up the hill. It climbs very steep out of the canyon with some lose rocks and mud. At the top you enter into aspen groves mixed with pine as the trail slowly climbs for the next few miles. It is easy to lose the trail at times so a GPS can help with that.
Near the end of the trail you'll come to a fence and then a cabin. If you continue beyond the cabin a bit you'll see some great views of waterfalls and surrounding cliffs, 500 foot waterfalls.
There is distributed camping throughout so just pick you favorite spot. You are likely to run across some horses or cows. In late June bugs weren't too bad, some mosquitoes. Lots of meandering side trails not shown on maps. Took dogs and they had a good time. Weather can come in quick so have rain gear ready.
Shared By: Trail Run Project Staff
by Mike Farruggia