|60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Albuquerque (2nd edition)
55. Herrera Mesa
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correction: (See also maps below.)
Driving directions state “Go another 5.7 miles...” Actually, it's only 4.6 miles.
Also, the cemetery is isn't easy to spot from the road. And to complicate
matters more, few maps agree on where IR's 56 and 54 begin and end.
So, just to simplify the driving directions:
From I-40 West, take exit 131 and go north toward Tohajiilee on
BIA-56/Cañoncito School Road.
At 7.8 miles, BIA-56 jogs right and becomes a dirt road.
Continue north another 3.3 miles and bear right at the Y.
Go another 4.6 miles north and look for a dirt road on the left. It’s about 0.9
mile past the junction with Rio Puerco Road. (See map below.)
An alert hiker notes: "There is a USGS benchmark right at that turn.
My gps had it at N35°12.226, W107°06.824."
Park nearby, being sure not to block either road. Alternately, you can drive
on the dirt road, but be aware that it gets bumpy and there’s room enough
ahead to park only one vehicle. Follow it as it crosses a shadow road and
After 0.4 mile, it reaches a T-junction. A green gate blocks the road on the
right and a dirt barrier blocks the shadow road on the left. Pull up to the
barrier and park there.
Tracks from my very first hike at Herrera Mesa. Do not try to duplicate this route.
Roads to the OMG and Herrera Mesa:
Rio Puerco Road usually has sections of heavy washboarding.
T56 gets more maintenance. The OMG gate is 14.5 miles from
Exit 140; 16 miles from Exit 131.