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Ortega Ridge, NM

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no permit
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Guide 12 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
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
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
20  2013-12-23
Alamo Marble Quarry
imike
32  2013-12-09
Ortega Canyon South
imike
10  2013-11-23
Staircase Canyon - Yubao's Cut
imike
20  2011-12-04
Ortega Canyon South
imike
26  2011-12-04
Ortega Canyon South
imike
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Sep, Aug, Oct → Any
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:35am - 5:02pm
Route
 
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Water
Nearby Area Water
Ortega Canyon South
Ortega Canyon South
0.0 mi away
3.3 mi
3,100 ft
Ortega Canyon
Ortega Canyon
0.0 mi away
4.2 mi
3,100 ft
Ortega Peak via Lost Trail Drainage
0.0 mi away
4.5 mi
3,200 ft
Lost Trail Canyon: South Fork
Lost Trail Canyon: South Fork
0.0 mi away
3.5 mi
2,120 ft
A Canyon South - Terri
A Canyon South - Terri's Cut
0.1 mi away
2.5 mi
1,780 ft
Ortega South - Jim
Ortega South - Jim's Cut
0.1 mi away
1.5 mi
2,100 ft
Lost Trail Drainage North
Lost Trail Drainage North
0.1 mi away
3.0 mi
2,600 ft
Pipeline Road - Alamogordo
Pipeline Road - Alamogordo
0.1 mi away
7.0 mi
220 ft
Ortega Peak
Ortega Peak
0.2 mi away
3.9 mi
3,100 ft
Ortega/Dry Canyon Traverse
0.3 mi away
2.5 mi
550 ft
[ View More! ]
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.

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.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    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
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