High and Wide...
One of the ambitious goals of the local New Mexico Rails to Trails Association is to reclaim the old railway bed from Alamogordo up to Cloudcroft (Sacramento Mountain Railway) as a multi-use access trail system. This section is one of those completed segments. While it is an isolated part, it does lay claim to broad and open views of the Tularosa Basin and the San Andreas Mountains in the far distance. The route follows a big horseshoe loop, passing over some of the old original wooden drainage culverts and around various collapsed trestle structures.
The Association has set up some trailside information displays, along with a covered hut out midway through the hike. The ridge overlooks Fresnal Canyon, the route the train followed in the lower reaches of it's climb up the mountain.
This is a very easy hike, staying primarily on the old railway grade, except for the final portion of the loop, which is taken along the road (FR 162C) back to the start of the trail. The parking is very limited at the trailhead, but it is not uncommon throughout these mountains to simply park alongside and on the road.
Immediately opposite the trailhead for the Grandview Trail, is the Grandview Spur Trail... continuing on down into Salado Canyon and potentially connecting to the lower section of T130, the Salado Canyon trail. At this time, the connection is sketchy, requiring some off trail bushwhacking down and around into the deeper canyon, but the Association will likely make improvements to this .3 mile spur over the coming years. Salado Canyon is a more dramatic section with a year round water flow, including pools and waterfall, and a completely restored train trestle included as part of the path.
For a fun and easy picnic hike, or for a little addition to a nice mountain bike ride down the mountain, this trail fits the bill. - Oct 07 2009 imike