- Trailhead Elevation:
- 9200 feet
- Elevation Range:
- 9200 feet to 10800 feet
- Elevation Change:
- 1600 feet
- Summer to Fall
The Tony Marquez trail lies at the heart of one of the most fascinating areas in the Carson National Forest of the Tres Piedras Ranger District.
The Tony Marquez (Trail #41) offers you three (3) Trail heads all located o the southern extension of the San Juan Mountains within the Tusas Mountains and borders the Tierra Amarilla Land Grant to the west with panoramic and spectacular views of the Brazos cliffs.
What's real exciting about the Tony Marquez, (trail #41) is that it is located in a non-motorized area. It borders by private land (Tierra Amarilla Land Grant) with panoramic vistas in all directions.
As you begin your adventure from Trail head #1 you will experience the vast parks heading in a westerly direction and eventually running into the headwaters of the Tusas river. Two foot bridges will get you across the Tusas as it meanders through the vast parks and meadows of the Rincon Negro. At this point you enter alpine terrain and can view some rock slides whose formation is unexplainable.
As you turn north at the junction of Trail head #1 and #2 (existing road) you travel through high alpine on both sides for 2 miles again entering the trail that meanders through thick alpine and old growth forest. Turning in an easterly direction you will run into one of the most interesting rock formation in North America. This rock formation is known to be the oldest rock in North America.
This is a good time for a break and a time to soak in the magnificent vistas. As you look in a southeasterly direction you will see the Sangre De Cristo mountains and to the south peaks or mesas sitting majestically, silently and alone in the horizon. To the west are the beautiful Brazos Cliffs and the Brazos ridge mountain range also a part of the San Juan and run in a north direction to the Colorado border.
This area is also the remains of a natural fire due to years of drought. The Osier Fire has been known to be one of the largest natural fires known in New Mexico history. It raged intensely from Canjilon to the Colorado border. This fire was in the late 1800''s and it is known to have burned all summer and on through the winter. You can still see remnants of stumps from this event and see how it changed the character of the landscape thus creating large open parks.
The temperatures during the summer range anywhere from the 70''s-80''s during the day and cooling to a comfortable 60''s at night. Snow in this are is typically from three to four feet deep by mid-winter that may last well into June. Winter temperatures can drop below 0. Snow conditions provide some excellent skiing opportunities.
The terrain in this area is gentle and is quite suitable for the beginning and intermediate recreationist. Some parts of the trail may descent from ridges or firm packed snow and may require speed decisions and fast running skills.
This trail offers an excellent opportunity for hikers and mountain bikers, since the trail is designed through mostly existing roads with a maximum grade consisting of anywhere from 0 to 30 percent grade with an opportunity to explore, since all drainages empty in all directions.
The whole area provides equestrian opportunity for the avid horseback rider with the vast parks and majestic vistas in all directions that can only be seen on horseback.
Tres Piedras is the nearest facilities and is located anywhere from 20 to 25 miles to the east from any of the trail heads. You will run into allotment gates that are usually closed during the grazing periods. Please respect (Close Gate)
PLEASE RESPECT. There is no trash collection. Please Pack it in and Pack it out.
Remember you are just a temporary visitor and should not leave any permanent imprints and do not stray away from trail and please do not take shortcuts across switchbacks, everything you want to see can be seen from the trail. Remember Tread Lightly.
Please camp at least 300 feet from the trail and any stream. A campfire is nice but you might consider a portable stove. If you prefer a campfire, burn only dead wood and keep fire small.
During the winter months State Highway 64 closes for a short period of time following a storm. Call the Tres Piedras Ranger District (505) 758-8678 for further information before embarking on your wonderful experience of the Tony Marquez Trail #41.
Access to Trail head #1: Starting at the foothills of Tres Piedras you follow State Highway 64 west for approximately 14.5 miles turning right on Forest Road 133 for approximately 2.25 miles then turn left on to Forest Road 80 for another 4 miles.