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Hershberger Ridge, NM

Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4 of 5 
no permit
23 7 0
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 3.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,627 feet
Elevation Gain 3,053 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,200 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.26
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
16  2010-11-03 imike
7  2010-03-11 imike
Author imike
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 0
Photos 6,930
Trips 2,467 map ( 21,513 miles )
Age 71 Male Gender
Location Cloudcroft, NM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:18am - 7:02pm
0 Alternative

It's all Up!!
by imike

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Hershberger Peak is the highest point in the frontal range adjacent to the Marble Canyon drainages, yet all traditional routes to reach that high point are accomplished through connecting on trails running near the mountain, or climbing one of the canyons, or crossing The Mesa and hiking the upper Mesa ridge.

Yet there is a direct route, right up the western ridge system that divides the Northern and Southern Marble Canyon drainages. The nicest route begins by moving up the southern Middle Marble canyon, exiting that drainage nearly immediately on to the ridge on the left (the dividing ridge between the northern and southern Middle Marble Canyons. Following that ridge up to the upper basin of the northern Middle Marble Canyon, then traversing over to the ridge line to the north (the upper portion of the southern Middle Marble Canyon.) From that point it is simply a steady uphill, shifting back and forth on the ridge line to enjoy views to the north of Marble Canyon north drainages, and to the south, the middle and southern Marble Canyon areas. The ridge line hiking shifts from moderate steep grades, to very steep areas, but both can be cross angled, creating effective switchbacks to soften the climb.

Hershberger Peak is reached on it's western side, avoiding all the traditional trails and the other ridge and canyon approaches.

Once on the ridges, it is simply a matter now of moving steadily up, choosing your route based on what canyon views you desire.

To reach the ridges, from the mouth of the main canyon hike a mile into the southern drainage, and just before the "narrows", turn left into the small boulder filled drainage and enjoy the steep but easy bouldering for about 100 yards, glancing to your left for access up and through the deeply eroded cliffs... move out of the drainage to that ridge line on your left, then enjoy the easy trekking up along that mostly open ridge.

An alternative beginning route: instead of following the main southern Canyon, at the split between the North and South canyon drainages, head up towards the left of the small shiprock formation... the drainage on the left of that will carry you up and around and into the northern Middle Canyon. It looks like that is just a small side wash that will end in a few hundred yards, but in fact that drainage continues on for over a mile, forming the very nice northern Middle Canyon cut, ending on the ridgeline where this route traverses to the north.

There is work underway to convert this route into the Hershberger Peak Trail, making it the primary route to access the peak. Once the trail is developed, this route will provide the shortest route to the Peak, though also the steepest!

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2010-03-11 imike
    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 canyon trip
    In Alamogordo, follow Tenth Street to it's far eastern end, and park at the small city park next to the fire station. Hike south and slightly east over to the mouth of the canyon. You can drive from the park over to the canyon mouth, but the car will likely be more secure at the park.
    page created by imike on Mar 11 2010 2:54 pm
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