Author Topic: Another Mills Canyon Ride  (Read 3652 times)

tortuga

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Another Mills Canyon Ride
« on: May 23, 2015, 08:21:33 PM »

?Not a whole lot to ride out there? I told Martin.

While the rest of the state was getting pounded by rain, Martin and I decided to heed the weatherman?s advice and head towards Mills Canyon, the weather forecast was saying just peachy and except for the occasional cell that blew of the Sangre de Cristos, they were right.

I wouldn't call this area a mecca for riding but I still like an occasional trip out here even if it is almost 250 miles from ABQ.  We spent most of the 2-1/2 days  probing the rim of the canyon on the many ranch roads. Open gate, close gate ? repeat.

The Canadian river was running pretty high and we were only able to cross at the small dam, which limited our exploration of the bottom to a few routes. We tried to take a trail out the west side but it turned into a rock garden right near the top. It was a nice challenging ride but it was a just too rugged to ride completely out, the rim. 
It appears as though you can enter this canyon from the south end, where the highway crosses it and work your way north up the canyon, crossing the river a bunch of times. This would have been an excellent adventure when we were there but the river bottom is all baby heads and you just couldn't see what you were doing. 

According to the lady at the Mills post office, there was supposed to be some kind of 4-wheeler event at the canyon. The weather seemed to scare everyone away because we had the lower campground to ourselves, except for a one family.  This is what I like about Mills canyon, solitude. Aside from the pronghorns we had the area to ourselves.

While the video is rendering, here are some pics. I included some from a previous trip because we didn't stop at any ruins.



Pretty sure this is what's left of the old hotel.






Water crossing in October.




This was in the grasslands near Mills, NM.







The dreaded water crossing (old pic).
I took my shoes off and went across this and the last 15 feet were slick as hell. All the alge made it like a sheet of ice and I could barely stand on it. After a lot of hemmin' and hawin' I walked on it again with boots and it was fine. There was plenty of traction! Go figure.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 08:59:19 PM by tortuga »



AtomicGeo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 456
    • View Profile
Re: Another Mills Canyon Ride
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2015, 09:46:31 PM »
Thanks for the pics...sounds like not a lot of riding.  Was it worth the second trip?  Looks like a beautiful place.
2014 WR450F - Plated

tortuga

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Re: Another Mills Canyon Ride
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2015, 06:36:19 AM »
It's a fun way to kill a weekend, camping and riding. But if you can't cross the river you're limited. What we were hoping to do was to explore the area on the the other side, upstream from the main area. We were thinking if you catch the stream at low flow you could ride the river bottom from the highway up to the main area and that would expand the riding a bit. If you were
When it's all said and done, it's a nice place to visit periodically and spend the night. The top camping area can get busy but the bottom, not so much. However, the lady at the PO in Mills says it can get busy.

I'd like to try it again in the fall when the water's down.

Here's the vid. At the 6:15 mark you might be able to see the herd of antelope heading towards Martin (on the right). A lot of antelope out there. And snakes.

 

AtomicGeo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 456
    • View Profile
Re: Another Mills Canyon Ride
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 06:31:49 PM »
Good vid!  You get a sense for the area thru your vid.😊
2014 WR450F - Plated

ditch

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
    • View Profile
Re: Another Mills Canyon Ride
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 09:11:44 PM »
Nice report!  :)
Did you have any trees for your hammock?

tortuga

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Re: Another Mills Canyon Ride
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2015, 11:20:05 AM »
We picked out a perfect spot to hang a hammock and I brought both a tent and hammock but the winds had me a bit concerned. I thought they might whip up and blow sand into everything or I come back and find it flapping in a tree. So, I just set up my little tent instead. Slept good on the big Coleman mattress but crawling in and out sucks. The wind wasn't a big deal in the canyon.   :-\

Looking at some maps. it appears that my idea about following the river to the highway isn't going to happen unless you rode up the middle for a long stretch.