FKT: Matthew Griffith - San Mateo Peak & Blue Mountain (NM) - 2023-09-19

Route variation
Standard route
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Start date
Finish date
Total time
6h 17m 51s

This is a route I've been wanting to check out for a couple years but hadn't had a chance until now. Today was intended to just be a scouting trip to check out the route for a future FKT effort as I'm quite out of shape, but since I beat the previous best time, I'm submitting it here for recognition as I won't be coming back again. The combination of the 2020 fire and the lack of use has made most of trails here vanish completely or very impossible to run. I spent way too much time just trying to navigate and find my way following the map and GPX tracks. I'm assuming this used to be a nice route route when it was first submitted in 2018, unfortunately, in it's current condition it's not very suitable for FKT efforts anymore. Unless someone basically rebuilds the entire trail between San Mateo Peak and Blue Mountain, it'll probably only continue to be reclaimed by the forest more and more each year. With that said, someone could post a new FKT route for the round trip up and down San Mateo Peak alone as that trail is still navigable (although very overgrown).

If someone is interested in this route, here is my advice. First, skip it and go for Hillsboro and Sawyers Peaks a few hours south. Although Sawyers Peak trail isn't in very good condition either, at least it's possible to follow the route. But, if you still insist, you should go back down the Cowboy Trail to you take up San Mateo before continuing on Apache Kid Trail. Although all the maps show a different trail that drops off San Mateo and meets up further down Apache Kid Trail--this trail does not exist and this off trail section coming down the peak is very slow. I would also recommend wear leg sleeves and shorts you don't care about. My shorts were completely shredded from travelling through all the new growth--I ended up tossing them in the trash when I got home. My legs were pretty torn up too--there are a lot of thorns you must go through. Anyway, I'm glad I was able to check out the peaks as it's quite nice wilderness, but it wasn't too much fun trying to navigate the thick growth without a trail.