Conquering New Mexico's Skies: The Drive to Baldy Mountain (Colfax County)

Baldy Mountain is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 3.714m (12,185ft) above the sea level, located in Colfax County, in the U.S. state of New Mexico. It’s one of the highest roads of New Mexico.

Baldy Mountain

Historical Treasures: Mining Trails of Baldy Mountain

Deep within the Cimarron Range of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the road leading to the peak — known by several names such as Baldy Peak, Mount Baldy, and Old Baldy — tells tales of its mining past. The slopes once glittered with copper, gold, and silver. A silent testament to its rich history, the Mystic Lode copper mine ruins can be found near the summit.

Road Details: Navigating the Challenging Path to Baldy's Summit

Beginning from the paved NM-38 road, just north of Elizabethtown, this unpaved mountainous trail extends for 12.8 km (7.95 miles). Expect an elevation gain of 1081 m with an average gradient of 8.44%.

Prepare for the Challenge: Road Conditions and Recommendations

Winter barricades the road, often keeping it closed till July 4th or even later. Narrow and winding, the trail requires careful maneuvering, especially with its limited passing points. For those daring enough, 17 hairpin turns await. Ensure you're equipped with a 4x4 high-clearance vehicle. And a word to the wise — watch out for the monsoonal wrath, as the region frequently witnesses intense rain, hail, and lightning strikes.
Pic: Sean Browning