FKT: Mikey Sklar, Jim Jacobs - San Mateo Peak & Blue Mountain (NM) - 2018-10-19

Route variation
Standard route
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Total time
7h 1m 46s

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The Apache Kid Wilderness is one of the most rugged and remote areas of the country. This 20 mile run started at 8am and took us until 3pm to complete. We begin at the Springtime Campground where the wood wilderness sign is located in front of the trailhead to San Mateo Peak. We climbed slowly as this course averages 25% more gain per mile than the HardRock100. San Mateo Spring is the first stop 3 miles in. It had water which required filtering, but is not reliable. We then went for the first summit San Mateo Peak (10,139'). Even in mid-October there were patches of snow all around. We exited San Mateo Peak using the Cowboy Trail to link up with the trail to Blue Mountain which had many down trees and obstacles, but by no means was difficult. I would estimate less than 50 people a year step foot on this section of the trail. At Blue Mountain (10,309') we enjoyed the views and the relatively fast descent as it is over 3000' back to Springtime Campground. The return trip bypass San Mateo Peak and sticks to the primary trail.

I recommend carrying at least 1.5 liters of water for this route and a filter. Although there are three springs (San Mateo, Twenty-Five Yard and Cub) in the area they are normally dry. Just a reminder that this is a remote wilderness area with bear sign and big cat scat everywhere. Some Verizon cell phone reception is possible at the peaks in case of emergency. I've named this route the 2:10 because we hit two peaks over 10,000. Another option which only adds five miles and 2,000' of gain is the 4:10 route which adds Apache Kid Peak (10,048') and West Blue Mountain Peak (10,336'). These routes due to their remoteness might be best done with a companion for safety reasons.