[Cdt-l] Trail Report from Cuba to Ghost Ranch

Todd DeLuca todddeluca at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 17:54:18 CDT 2009

Hi!  We made it to Ghost Ranch yesterday and are cooling our heels today.

To add to Yogi's Cuba page, denatured alcohol is available at the True
Value hardware store.  And I couldn't find HEET at the McDonalds,
FWIW, though someone there recommended the dollar store south of McDs
or the True Value to the north.

We had a problem following the Ley recommended (red) route, leaving
Cuba, map NM10 point 5.
Long story short:  Do not go up Los Utes Rd.
Long story long:  Going down the paved county road heading toward
Circle A Ranch, after a few miles we entered some woods and shortly
bent 90 degrees right, heading east, where in ~.1 miles the road
splits.  A dirt road, Los Utes Rd, goes straight, and the paved road
goes left toward Circle A.  A sign points left for the trailhead.  But
the red route (as I read the map) goes straight along Los Utes.  We
walked a couple of miles up Los Utes Rd, to where the red round bends
north to intersect FS95 in ~0.5 mi.  But Los Utes Road dead ends.
North is across fields owned by someone who simply and clearly told us
we were not allowed to cross ("If I let one cross I'll have to let
them all cross.") and we should head back down to the pavement.
Fortunately another person allowed us to cross his yard and bushwack
north across a few small ridges to FS95.  Spare yourself a potential
several mile long wrong turn by avoiding (my reading of) the red route
and staying on the pavement past Los Utes Rd.

The water situation between Cuba and Ghost Ranch is pretty good.
Leaving Cuba, we found water ~7 miles out, just past the trailhead up
to the San Pedro Parks Wilderness.  Water on top of San Pedro Parks
Wilderness in the wet, marshy areas for a few miles.  We passed by the
springs on the way down, but there was water in Cecilia Canyon, near
NM9 point 6.  Water in Ojitos Canyon, a stream flowing more clearly at
the top, around NM8 Wolf 13, then lower down, around NM8 pt 3, Wolf
11.  There is a trough with clear, tasty water, around NM8 wolf 9.5.
And another trough further on near the Chama River.  The Chama river
has no shortage of water.  And it is dry from there to Ghost ranch
with nary a spot of shade, except of course the daily thundershower.

We've had the pleasure of meeting our 4th thru-hiker, Wrongway, on
this stretch and seeing many wonderful sights.  And we are now greatly
enjoying the hospitality, people, facilities and meals at Ghost Ranch.

Thanks again to everyone who has provided such great info on water and
trail conditions to those of riding your coattails!


Reason (and Cruiser)

Todd DeLuca

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