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Lost Trail - Lincoln NF, NM

no permit
59 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
0 of 5 by 0
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 3.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,590 feet
Elevation Gain 1,950 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,100 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.5
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
Post the 1st photoset!
Author imike
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 0
Photos 6,930
Trips 2,467 map ( 21,513 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Cloudcroft, NM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Mar, Apr, Nov → Any
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:48am - 6:09pm
0 Alternative
If You Can Find It, Go For It!
by imike

The Basin just on the eastern edge of Alamogordo provides some interesting hiking alternatives. It is bordered on the north by Beeman Ridge, on the south by the Marble Canyon drainages, overshadowed by The Mesa. The most well known route is the "A" route, T119, heading steeply up to Ortega Peak. The other marked Forest Service Trail is Mineral Springs trail running along below Beeman Ridge on the north. There are other trails leading into the Basin area, but this is the only other trail that leads up and out of the Basin.

Unfortunately, finding this little used trail is not entirely easy.

It begins as a real trail about halfway up into the Basin. You start out on Little Mineral Springs trail (Marked on the MyTopo map as 426) from the eastern end of Indian Wells road. Following that route on it's steady rise, you watch for an old ATV track that will cut off to your right, dipping down and across the drainage. If you follow 426 to where it makes a sharp turn back to your left, you have gone too far.

Leaving 426, crossing the drainage and ascending the hill immediately south of the drainage, you work your way up and around the obvious rocky outcropping above you to the east. Head around to the south side (right side) and you will finally pick up a very clearly worn track. From this point on you should have no problem following the worn but slightly over grown path. Your views down into the canyon to your left will be dramatic. The trail climbs steadily, winding up and back towards Ortega Peak. You will eventually encounter some large cairns with a track coming in from your left. That is the upper terminus of Mineral Springs trail (not shown to go that far south on the Map, but it does, and makes a great loop hike when combined with Lost Trail).

From the intersection the trail winds south and east, climbing up and around, finally connecting with an old Jeep route that heads left over into Dry Canyon, or to your right to connect with T119 and Ortega Peak. The intersection is effectively the end of Lost Trail. If you venture further with the intent of returning by this same route, make careful note of what the trail looks like at that intersection; it can be very easy to overlook coming from either direction on the old Jeep track (Dry Canyon-Ortega Traverse).

This route gives a very nice mid basin connection, opening up the options for a variety of trail and off trail loops, including some very nice drainage hikes.

Take the time to find this lost gem.

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2010-10-24 imike

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking 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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Lost Trail - Lincoln NF
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Big midweek turnout for the meetup hike, with a new hiker, so we altered the route... did a selection of ins and out and ups and downs... then, split the group and did a nice exploratory up Lost Trail Canyon N1. It was nice... and, we finally scored a Crinoid that included more than just the trunk section. Been looking for that.

    On top of the project work blended into the last months of the year... just got Jury Duty!! here it is for 90 days!!! I'm on till the end of the year. I'm not certain when I can increase the hiking to get back to a training level... may be after the first of the year??
    Lost Trail - Lincoln NF
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Will and Ross out for exercise... we redirected our efforts up into the Lost Trail drainage... rains making the pooling in Ortega Canyons too much? We closed out up to Lost Trail using a north spur... lead up to a very nice dryfall formation with interesting strata... descended Lost Trail... then around on the road/trails.
    Lost Trail - Lincoln NF
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I need to finish writing the trail descriptions for sections of this hike... then the linking could be completed! Bit muggy out... but a breeze did come up. I thought I would stay out longer but I did not pack enough fluids.

    Nice severe hop step down a ledge to land on the side of my foot... immediate and acute sharp pain, but a few limp around steps and I was right back to striding. So odd that a kayaking injury over 25 years ago leaves me with un-sprainable ankles!

    Just before the attack on my ankle, Spanish Dagger to my arm... and soon after: prickly pear jammed into my foot! Yet, mood was high... great day out. On a scale of 1 to 7,,, I'd give it a ten.

    I intend shorter, easier days.. but I also intend to not miss days and yesterday was distracted... delayed,,, then denied.

    Fun stuff,,,
    Lost Trail - Lincoln NF
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I forget What a great hike this loop is! Every time I introduce new hikers to this route they affirm the quality and variety. The Springs, Indian Wells, meadows, rocks, vistas... and the not too hard, not too easy nature of the loop. This was a great Friday group hike. Of course, Terri's Friday hikers were all off on a different hike, but that was nice too. It would be great if the calendar could fill in with lots of choices for everyone.

    Finished after 11am for that first hit, started to do laps on the "A", but that was not inspiring. I moved over to the more difficult Cave Canyon and that did the trick. I quit a little short of the 5,000' goal but my focus is drifting ahead to April... I may fall a little short of the 150,000' goal this month as I get ready to try for the bigger month about to start.

    The game/cattle trail up the ridge on the west side of Cave Canyon could be improved into a great training route up to Alamo Point (high north side over the mouth of Alamo Canyon). That would also give us a good path up to the Cave... and the connecting short loop around from Pock Rock up through Ross's Cut. That needs to happen!

    Very good day out!
    Lost Trail - Lincoln NF
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The Wednesday double turned into a triple!

    Shared the peak hike with Terri and Brenda... then we looped back out (Terri and Bill) to enjoy the Marble Canyon...Quarry Canyon route to the top of the Marble Bluffs. From there, up to the old Gold Mine on the "A" Trail where we split up... I headed up to re-stage my trail tools and log some trail work hours... they headed down hill to close out their day earlier. Great weather! Nice routes. Trail getting better; nearly have it up to the "A" trail Bluffs.
    Lost Trail - Lincoln NF
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Saturday Training loop
    Drove over an hour early for this posted hike... and Brenda showed up right after I arrived! We enjoyed an interesting loop, including the mud and snow over in Dry Canyon. Ortega Peak nice... weather great... nice interlude with a small herd of elk on the north side of Hershberger Peak (Brenda thought she heard water running... I stopped and noted it was Elk passing below us through the snow... and sure enough, they soon emerged, rounding into the ridge/canyon at the top of Marble Canyon North.

    We stopped at the Fissure for awhile (likely longer down time than I noted) then took an end of day break at the old Gold Mine.

    These progressive Saturday training hits are about to step up into all day affairs with starts in the dark... oh, well!
    Lost Trail - Lincoln NF
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    ...early start, headed up and over to Dry Canyon, but on the way... both some energy issues and the thought of doing the dull, open Dry. And, I was staring up and over at the Dark Mesa, upper and lower. That had appeal. I made the looping turn to carry me over to access that ridge.

    It was a very nice hike... cacti blooming... shadows on cliffs... much like walking in and through a private desert park.

    I was surprised to find that the upper Mesa was really just a peak. Though surrounded by dark cliffs, it lacked the substance I was expecting to be the upper Mesa... and, it had a use trail directly off of the Mineral Springs Trail.

    Next, dropping down and past the Springs, I followed the real trail route down to the next pass and found access to the lower Mesa easy. I looped around the Mesa, noticing what appeared to be yet another trail down below and heading off to the south... it proved to be a great connecting Spur trail over to Little Mineral Springs trail. It was in great shape and covered with cacti in full magenta bloom.

    I exited LMS trail down at the Indian Wells, and went off trail over to Lost Trail Canyon, and looped back to my car in that drainage.

    It was not the harder day planned, but it was a great outing. New stuff... that seems to be what keeps me going of late. Now, for some stupid reason I did not take my camera along. So, got to redo the loop...
    Lost Trail - Lincoln NF
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Exploratory up Lost Trail Canyon, south fork... not what I was hoping for! It was overgrown, and lacked consistent bedrock to enjoy walking on. There was some. It also lacked nice towering sidewalls... lots of dirt sided cuts. But, it needed to be done. It was very nice once back over and coming down the North Fork... even though it was down more in the flats, there was a great blend of rock slab, vista, plant accents and nice falls to scramble around on. Just a couple of canyons left to check out in the Alamo area... but, there are still ridges to hike, and then I'll begin drifting out of town to the south...

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From the main drag in Alamogordo, White Sands Blvd, follow Indian Wells Road to it's eastern end, parking in the gravel lot beyond the intersection on the east side of Scenic Drive. The trail head for Mineral Springs and Little Mineral Springs trails begin here. leaving the north end of the lot, walk up onto the levee and follow the aquaduct south... until the levee drops down into a wide wallow area. walk up and out to the east following the old jeep road. You will know if you are on the correct route if you soon pass a high banked wash on your left overlooking a graffiti painted waterfall.
    page created by imike on Oct 24 2010 5:00 pm
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