Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mill Ridge/Laborcita Canyon, LNF, NM

Monday being a holiday (MLK Day) seemed like a good time to explore a couple of areas we all had not been on before. I had done part of Mill Ridge but not all of it and Juan had done Laborcita Canyon but we hadn't so it sounded like a plan. Our little group (Matt, Juan and his wife Janet, and myself) took off around 12:00 for the trails (nice part is there just 15 min away) and spent the next 6 hours exploring the areas. Both these trails are in the Lincoln NF, NM, and the Mill Ridge trail begins at the top of a runaway truck ramp. Mill Ridge is not well travelled as the begining is gated (which deters alot of folks) but the gate is just to keep the livestock in. The gate held closed with a chain and a sign asking you to close it behind you.

The begining of the trail is pretty rocky and washed out.
Then toward the left branch leading to the Alamogordo overlook area, the road flattens out on top of the mesa.

We stopped for a quick break at the overlook to just take it all in. From here you can see across the White Sands area to the mountain ranges by El Paso and Las Cruses.

Then it was off across the unexplored area of the mesa which the trail ended at another overlook a few miles in, but not before a steep rocky washed out climb.

After again taking in the views, it was back down and off to Laborcita Canyon.

Talk about a complete change from where we just were, Laborcita Canyon is higher in elevation and winds its way through a heavily forested canyon. The trail is actually 2 connecting forest roads making the trail roughly 15 or so miles long. Took us just about 2 hours with stops of course.

Plenty of snow still left in the higher elevations (made for an interesting drive in a couple of spots) The canyon is a beautiful area, although you couldn't see very far, just the snow fall and the forest made it amazing. This will be a great trail to do in the fall.

Towards the end as the trail decends, it begins to open up to the desert foothills. The trail ends on Hwy 70 just outside Tularosa, NM. We stopped for a bit to recount the day before heading home.

That evening the sunset was beautiful, what a fitting end to a great day exploring the mountains with good friends.

1 comment:

Steve Fischer Attorney said...

Well I would like more specific information.

How far up the canyon road did it take before the weather was cooler? Could you see Alamogordo from that canyon road?

Is it different from the High Rolls area?