Newer is Better!
Enjoy this new route... it does it better.
The spur leg of this lasso loop climbs 100 feet, with a bit of up/down… connecting you with the upper loop. Exiting the Spur, Turn left, dropping as you head clockwise around the mountain. Soon, Enjoy a nicely placed bench at the bottom of the next climb.
Along the way, Note the exceptional views of the Trestle, the Village of Cloudcroft and the far away Tularosa Basin. Stop at the upper bench overview… and take in the great setting.
At this point you’ve climbed around 200’.
Now, enjoy the winding descent to the trail low point (8400’) before you ascend to the meadow. That 120’ climb is the first half of the 250’ total ascent up to the old railway grade that will loop you back around to the spur trail… and down to your car.
This shade shrouded loop is likely the most popular hike in the Cloudcroft area… and with the new parking lot and softer approach, it attracts a steady stream of day hikers.
The loop may also be accessed from the Village directly. Take Mescalero/Osha Trail Road from downtown… follow it out to the marked trail access along Trail 568. Part of the Osha Loop runs along with Trail 568 on the old Railway Grade… on its way out to Pines Campground. That route would include only the 1.8 mile upper portion of the Osha Trail Loop, but you’ll log a couple extra miles getting there and back, and avoid about 100’ of climbing!
Since re-routing of the Osha Loop, the day use has increased ten fold. The old trailhead allowed only a few cars, and that old spur contained an overly steep climb up switch backed steps… too steep for many to want to do a return trip. This new route includes parking for over 20 vehicles, and it is signed and very noticeable. Picnic tables augment the hiking at the trailhead. This new spur has a softer grade with nice benches to pause and take in the vista views.
People are stopping, hiking, and returning for more.
It’s not the historic route… it’s the new, improved and ever better Loop.
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.