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Geology Hike: Dolores Gulch to Old Ortiz Mine

Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve.  Click here for directions.
Cost is free to members and $5 per each non-member.

If you are not a member, visit our membership page for more information on how to join >>

Rating: Moderate to advanced
Distance: 5.5 miles
Duration: 4-5 hours
Leader: Steve Maynard

This hike will take us “on foot” from the entrance gate on Gold Mine Road into the Preserve along the 4WD access road, to the Old Ortiz Mine and the Loop Trail.

We will discuss the geologic setting of the Ortiz Mountains and examine outcrops of pyroclastic rocks that formed in the 25-30 million year-old Dolores Gulch volcanic vent, and gold-bearing quartzite at the Florencio prospect along its margin. At the Old Ortiz Mine we can observe (but not enter) one of the earliest hard-rock mining efforts in the western United States, and discuss the 1970s-80s-era mining at Cunningham Hill, about 1 mile east of the Old Ortiz Mine. At the Loop Trail we’ll ponder the relationship of the massive augite-monzonite (a type of granite) stock to the volcanic rocks.

Before signing up, please read all the general information regarding attending a hike or tour at the Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve.

*Note: This hike does not require 4×4 vehicles because we will begin at the gate at the end of Goldmine Rd.

Register online for this hike here >


About Steve Maynard

Steve Maynard has worked for 30+ years in mineral exploration, looking for precious and base metal deposits in the US, Mexico, Canada, Central and South America, and Turkey.  During the period 1986-1990, he was employed by LAC Minerals, USA, Inc., making a geologic map of the Ortiz Mountain range.

He also worked with the NM Bureau of Geology to complete geologic maps of the four USGS 7.5-minute topographic sheets that cover the Ortiz Mountains and the Cerrillos Hills.  Detailed geologic information gathered during the 1980s was included in the compilation.  Steve is presently working for a small Canadian exploration company with projects in Mexico.  Steve is SFBG’s go to geology expert and a presenter at volunteer trainings.

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