Greenie Peak

Red River, New Mexico (Taos County)
Last Updated: 08/23/2018
5/5 (1 review)
Nearby Trails
Status: Seasonal Closure
Typically Open: 06/15 - 12/31
Difficulty: 3-3
Length: 5.82 miles
Highest Elevation: 11145 feet
Duration: About 1 hour 15 minutes
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Red River
Nearest Town w/ Services: Red River
Official Road Name: 597,54K, 54K1,54K4,54H
Management Agency: Carson National Forest
District: Questa District
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Highlight: Greenie Peak

Greenie Peak located in the Carson National Forest is the highest point of motorized travel in New Mexico at 11,145 feet. Upon reaching the peak you will have sweeping views of the Wheeler Peak Wilderness and also a bird's eye view of the Red River Ski Resort. For anyone touring the Enchanted Circle this high altitude adventure is a must.


Route Information

Technical Rating: (3-3)

Dirt road. Rutted, washes, or gulches. Water crossings up to 6" depth. Passable mud. Grades up to 10 degrees. Small rocks or holes. 4WD recommended but 2WD possible under good conditions and with adequate ground clearance and skill. No width problems for any normal vehicle. Vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.

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This easy trail is a network of dirt trails and maintained dirt roads. When following this route and when sign numbers are not available, the markers are identified with a green triangle. This is useful to differentiate the official Greenie Peak route from some of the alternative routes. There are many routes that vary from the official Greenie Peak route, many of which have varying seasonal closures. The main route uses the following Forest Roads; FR597, FR54K, FR54K1, FR54K4 and FR54H. Seasonal Closure 01/01-05/29 includes FR54K, FR54K1 and FR54K4. Seasonal Closure 05/01-06/15 includes FR54H. This means the official trail can only be run in its entirety from 06/16-12/31.

Seasonal Information

Spring:Trail is closed for Elk Calving.
Summer:Trail is usually dry except during monsoon season.
Fall:Trail is dry and good for viewing leaf color changes.
Winter:Trail becomes impassable by snow.


1. Trailhead

At the trailhead, you will turn left and head uphill. The correct direction can be distinguished with a large 597 forest sign.

2. Right Fork FR54K (0.28 mi)

At the fork turn right and pass through the seasonal closure gates. This marks the beginning of FR54K

3. 54H Fork (1.78 mi)

Turn right and head north west onto 54H. Although marked 54H this route will return to 54K1. There is an unmarked access to 54H but is not part of the official Greenie Peak route.

4. Green Triangle 1st (2.69 mi)

Stay to the right which is the downhill side of the trail. The trail marker is partially hidden by a pine tree, but has a green triangle to designate it as the correct trail to Greenie Peak.

5. Green Triangle 2nd (3 mi)

Take the left uphill trail to continue on the Greenie Peak trail. This marker also has the green triangle designating the path. This is FR54K4.

6. Billboard Junction (4.07 mi)

At the junction, you will turn uphill to the left. This will take you east toward Greenie Peak. The junction is marked with a large wooden sign with directional signs to Mallette Creek Canyon, or Greenie Peak and Midnight Meadows. This is FR54H. If you choose to return from Greenie Peak on this trail it is important to remember that you came from the south side, if you continue straight down the west trail at this point it continues as FR54H and will eventually return you to the unmarked access mentioned earlier for the 54H Fork. That portion of 54H is more challenging than the official Greenie Peak route.

7. Midnight Junction (5.2 mi)

The trail will split and you will follow downhill to the left.

8. End at Peak (5.82 mi)

The Greenie Peak trail culminates at the overlook where you can view the Wheeler Peak Wilderness and the Red River Ski Resort. This will also put you at the highest motorized point in New Mexico.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 36.726104, -105.398630

Starting Point: Red River

At the center of town you will see Sitzmark, a long time local outdoor outfitter. At the corner of the parking lot is Main Street and Mallette Road, turn North. You will travel 1.4 miles passing through Mallette Park before reaching the trailhead.


At the trailhead, the right turn will take you down 597A. Less than a tenth of a mile is a popular camping area, large enough for RVs. There are no facilities. Carson National Forest offers 3 campgrounds west of the town of Red River with potable water, they are: Fawn Lakes Junebug Elephant Rock Lodging is available nearby in Red River with hotel rooms or cabin rentals. Multiple RV parks are also available in town.
Camping: Greenie Peak

Writer Information

Brett Brogdon

Mapping Crew - New Mexico
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My first vehicle was a 1987 Isuzu Trooper, as a sixteen year old that meant mudding behind the local lake. After cracking the transfer case in half I almost traded it for a 1970 El Camino, boy would my life had turned out differently! Instead I went down the rabbit hole of classic Chevrolet Blazers, until one night in Hot Springs, Arkansas I was introduced to rock crawling with Jeeps. As I sat there completely vertical, staring straight up the hood of an old CJ7 at the stars above, I knew I had to have a Jeep. So in the summer of 2001 I found "Goldie" sitting brand new on the local lot, no one wanted her because she was a four cylinder and therefore sat on the lot for a year. She took me all over Arkansas during college, and slowly grew as did my driving skills. When you are working with two (to four) cylinders less than the rest of the guys, it takes a little more gas pedal and finesse. I became a believer in driving my rig, wheeling it hard, which sometimes meant a trail side repair, but then driving it home. That little gold Jeep is still sitting in my garage, and still with a four cylinder engine, it has driven me all over the United States and created excitement for me and spectators for over 16 years now. There have been a few more Jeeps added to the roster, because sometimes you need a spare, but I am a firm believer that knowing your rig and your own skills will take you farther than most people believe. In the summer of 2007 I moved to Telluride, Colorado. My friend needed a caretaker for his cabin for a month while he was working in Alaska, so it seemed like a great opportunity to experience the Rocky Mountains. Unfortunately, his soon to be ex-girlfriend decided she was going to move back into the cabin with her new boyfriend. I was left homeless with all my friends worldly possessions. Lucky for me he was a mountain guide with lots of cool camping gear. My new boss told me it was fairly common in mountain towns to have experiences like that and suggested that I just camp for a week until I could find a new place to live. Well that week turned into five months, as I went to work during the day and returned to my tent at night. I was the first one to make it into the ghost town of Alta that year, winching myself through the snow and pitching my tent next to the building that Nikola Tesla used for his first commercial use of electricity. It was a great summer, just me and my pet wolf experiencing Mother Nature at its finest. "Overlanding" wasn't a common term in the USA at that point, and my gear wasn't very fancy so I guess I was still officially camping, but it did instill a passion that grew into Overland Expedition Specialists LLC. Maybe some day there will be a new phrase to describe it, but I think we can be both Rock Crawlers and Overlanders. If you are out there exploring, call yourself anything you want, just remember to always Tread Lightly!


Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Can you car camp at the top of the trail?
–Stephen Malaster (09/27/2018)
A: There are no facilities but you could. The official peak "parking area" gets pretty windy, so I personally would suggest taking the trail behind the parking area toward Midnight Meadows. There is a litttle more tree cover and privacy.
–Brett Brogdon (09/28/2018)

Trail Reviews (4)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Fire Restrictions are lifted.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Carson National Forest Questa District is currently under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions meaning no fires of any kind including smoking and spark arrestors on all vehicles

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Carson National Forest Questa District is currently under Stage 3 Fire Restrictions meaning no access of any kind until December 31, 2018 or until Rescinded

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Gates are now open after Seasonal Closure. Carson National Forest-Questa District is under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions which means no campfires or smoking. Please carry a fire extinguisher.