Mistletoe Canyon Ski Trail Closure


Bet Gendron removing a blue diamond from a large pine.

Several years ago the Copar Company from Espanola operated the El Cajete pumice mine on the Jemez Ranger District (JRD) in the East Fork area. After the mine was closed, Copar reclaimed the site by contouring the surface and planting grass and pine trees.

The site is now enclosed by a barbed wire fence, and this area is closed to public entry and to cattle grazing to protect the grass and small trees.

Recently Jemez RD personnel learned that the fence had been cut in places, and people and cows had been on the site. The west end of the site extended past a segment of the Mistletoe Canyon Ski Trail, and the fence had been cut where the trail entered the site on an old logging road.

At a meeting in the Jemez Ranger Station on Monday, October 26, attended by Sam Beard (Ski Club Trails Chair) and members Carl Smith and Bet Gendron, Jeff Harris, JRD Recreation Staff Officer, described the above situation and stated that the JRD was very concerned about the trespass on the reclaimed site. The Club members stated that this trail was seldom skied in recent years due to poor snow conditions.

The result of the meeting was that Sam would email the following information to the Club members:

  1. The mine site is closed to the public, and Club members are not to cut fences and hike or ski on the site.
  1. The Club would remove blue diamonds from Mistletoe Canyon Trail at locations on two sides of the mine site to discourage use of this trail near the site.

Removal of Diamonds on Mistletoe Canyon Trail

Following the meeting, Sam, Carl, and Bet removed a total of about 4 dozen blue diamonds from two parts of this trail. Diamonds were removed from about a quarter mile of trail south of the east Mistletoe Canyon Trailhead at the East Fork Ridge Trail. Diamonds were also removed from about a half-mile of this trail west and southwest of the mine. Photographs of diamonds being removed from a couple of trees are presented below.

Club members are encouraged to ski other trails in the East Fork and Los Griegos Areas. For information about the numerous trails in these areas, please contact me or consult my trail guide, Ski Touring in Northern New Mexico.

Sam Beard, Trails Chair

1 Comment

Leave a Comment