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Ortega Ridge, NM
no permit
0 12 0 0
Description 12 Triplogs  0 Topics
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 Southeast, NM
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding ?
Distance One Way 3.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,605 feet
Elevation Gain 3,000 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,300 feet
Avg Time One Way 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.6
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Author imike
Descriptions 253
Routes 0
Photos 5,377
Trips 1,918 map ( 15,995 miles )
Age 66
Location Cloudcroft, NM
Viewed All Mine Following
20  2013-12-23
Alamo Marble Quarry
32  2013-12-09
Ortega Canyon South
10  2013-11-23
Staircase Canyon - Yubao's Cut
20  2011-12-04
Ortega Canyon South
26  2011-12-04
Ortega Canyon South
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Forest Lincoln
Backpack   Possible - Not Popular
Preferred   Apr, Mar, Oct, Nov → Any
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  4:57am - 7:16pm
Alternative Routes
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.0  Ortega Canyon South
0.0  Ortega Canyon
0.0  Ortega Peak via Lost Trail Drainage
0.0  Lost Trail Canyon: South Fork
0.1  A Canyon South - Terri's Cut
0.1  Ortega South - Jim's Cut
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I can get there from here!
by imike

Ortega Ridge divides the two main western drainages flowing off of Ortega Peak. The lower section of the Ridge holds a variety of homes scattered around the dramatic rock precipice that crowns the first mile. The homes and the shear rock cliffs that surround the crown make it impractical to attempt to hike the lower portion. The best approach is to hike up either the North or South Ortega Canyon drainages and access the Ridge at the very obvious saddle, about a mile in. If you follow the South Ortega Canyon you might as well hike on up to the first waterfall, then reverse back to the side drainage taking you up and onto the Ridge. It would be a shame to miss that section of Ortega Canyon!

Once on the Ridge you have fairly open, if often steep, access to range back and forth to enjoy views down into either canyon. You also have options for descending down into the canyon bottoms, but exercise caution. The rock here is often razor sharp, and can be loose and unstable.

Proceeding up the Ridge you will eventually be confronted by a band of rock wall forming the crest of the meadow plateau that runs west and north from Ortega Peak. Ascend that barrior and proceed on to the Peak, connecting with T119 ("A" Trail) for any easier hike back down to town, or follow Lost Trail around and down to the northwest. Walking back down the Ridge is probably the easiest option if you do not plan to include the walk up to the top of Ortega Peak.

This is a nice hike to enjoy on some of the colder winter days when full sunlight exposure is a welcome idea.

The hike is all off trail. Exercise care and caution... lots of prickly stuff up there!

If you begin this Ridge hike using Ortega Canyon South, please park at the lower city water tank, not near the upper tanks. That area is private property, and you will be crossing private land in the early portion of the hike. Be quiet and respectful to preserve our ongoing access to this area.
© 2011 - 2016


    One-Way Notice: This hike is listed as One-Way. When you hike several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Alamogordo's main drag, White Sands Blvd, proceed east up 10th street to Scenic Drive. Turn left (north) and follow Scenic until you see the Funeral Home and Churchs on your right. Turn right (east) and follow Thunder Rd. up through the housing development. Pull in next to the City Water Tank and park. Do not park at the upper water tanks... walk up the road and follow the drainage up into the canyon.
    page created by imike on Dec 06 2011 1:03 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    stay out of the scorching sun
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
    © 2016 HAZ