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My uncle and I are dirt road warrior explorers. We've done more than our share of backtracking after not being able to go any further. We had a trip earlier this year out to the Trinity Site and VLA, and did a ton of off-road exploring. Headed to the top of Mt. Withington, then just started heading down forest roads.
The San Mateo Mtns are very remote, despite the lower end being adjacent to I-25. I'm guessing you saw almost no one. Very
attractive country and you did what I keep recommending to those whom seem only to ever go to Big Bend.
Wow, guys, I haven't heard mention of the San Mateos in twenty years. Back last century, I used to go there quite a lot. I had a project in the Sandia Mountains by Albuquerque, and another in the Organ Mountains by Las Cruces. Whenever I was shuttling between the two, I tried to make time to hit the San Mateos. Mount Withington is fun, and I especially enjoyed winter camping in the Apache Kid Wilderness. I'd drive my jeep as far as I could go in winter - usually up to Springtime Campground, and then snowshoe up to the summit of San Mateo Peak and the surrounding area for a couple days. Great stuff. Never saw a single other person there. Thanks for jogging my memory. Haven't been back at all this century.