One of the wildest places in New Mexico can be found in Taos County. Perhaps the crown jewel of this whole area is Ute Mountain, a 10,093 foot high volcanic cone rising nearly 3,000 feet above the surrounding plain. Ute is something you can’t miss. Located about ten miles west of Costilla, it is the dominate feature for those driving north from Taos along highway 522.
The steep slopes of Ute are covered in pinyon at the base, as well as pockets of ponderosa, aspen, white pine and Douglas Fir in the higher elevations. From grassy meadows of blue grama, western wheatgrass and Indian ricegrass where the trees thin, the Gorge is a jagged, inky slash dividing Ute from its sister cones to the west. Snow-capped Mt. Blanca rises to the north, just across the state line. The whole Sangre de Cristo range falls to the east, terminating, view-wise, at Wheeler Peak.
Surrounded by an open grassy plain, the mountain does not have designated hiking trails. The mountain is rough and steep and wonderful to climb. No technical equipment is required.
Bikes and motorized vehicles are not allowed.
This area is under consideration for Wilderness designation under the 1964 Wilderness Act.