Autumn colors from Mogote Peak, New Mexico

Story & photos © Milli Thornton.

The first Saturday in October was the perfect time to visit Mogote Peak (elevation 9,987 feet) in the Tusas Mountains of Northern New Mexico. This was the height of the autumn colors and we had a glorious, sunny day for our trip.

We caravaned in BJ (Brian’s Jeep Wrangler) and our friend Aiden’s pick-up, which hauled a trailer holding two ATVs. We stopped at a campground near El Rito, NM to offload the ATVs, and then away we went on our 4×4 adventure.


Gorgeous jagged rocks form a spiky red cliff


Unloading the ATVs

Being the passenger in the Jeep Wrangler, I had time to look behind the Jeep and watch the progress of the ATV riders. They loomed large through the back window of BJ, but tiny and comical in the side mirror.

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Aiden & Ralph on ATVs, as seen from inside BJ

On our way to the peak, and the best views of the fall colors, we experienced a variety of landscape: everything from dirt roads lined with yellow and orange scrub to stands of aspens at a higher altitude that had already lost their leaves.


New Mexico back road


Vivid colors at a higher elevation


These trees are ready for winter

After various detours to explore as much rough terrain as we could, we reached Mogote Peak (pronounced Mah-goat-ay). The view from the top was heavenly.


Mogote Peak, close to heaven


Not many people get to see the view from Mogote Peak


Fall colors from Mogote Peak, October 2013

On the way back down, we had fun running the Jeep and the ATVs through some nice, big, juicy mud bogs.

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Aiden’s ATV sends the mud flying

Autumn in Northern New Mexico is always memorable, but this day was a treasure.

Milli Thornton

Milli Thornton


Milli Thornton (aka Milliver) is the author of Fear of Writing: putting the fun back into writing. She is owner of the Fear of Writing Online Course and Unleash Your Writing!, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli blogs at Screenwriting in the Boonies and coaches writers at Writer’s Muse Coaching Service.

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