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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Old Sunspot Hiway #5009, NM

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Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,414 feet
Elevation Gain -320 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 1.23
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes & Possibly Connect
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   Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep → Any
Seasons   Late Winter to Late Autumn
Sun  5:46am - 6:11pm
Official Route
 
0 Alternative
 
Water
Downhill Can't Be All Bad!
by imike

Likely In-Season!
The name says it all... this is the old route up the mountain that lead to Sunspot then on over to Timberon.


The portion designated as the official trail drops from the junction of the New Sunspot Hiway and Forest Road 64....for .7 miles down the roadbed, but for all practical purposes, the entire section down to Rio Penasco Rd. (Forest Road 164) might as well be considered the "trail". Even the portion not factored as the forest trail 5009, is given the designation Forest Road 5009. So, 3.25 miles covers that entire length.

This trail follows Water Canyon for it's entire length, and like its namesake, usually has a minor flowing stream down the meadow bottom.

At mile 2.5 down canyon, you encounter Trail 113, Willy White Trail. That trail takes off steeply uphill in the narrow Telephone Canyon, to loop around to Bluff Springs, connecting with trail 5008, Willis Canyon Trail and connecting with the decommissioned timber road,6411, that follows the ridge back up and around to Forest Road 64. This old road bed is the best hiking in the area, reaching a high point of close to 9600'... and it is closed to ATV traffic! Consider combining t5009, t113 with this old road bed for a nice 10 mile loop.

Since the lower section of T5009 is designated as a road, it is available for car camping. You can access off of FR164 and drive the fairly nice gravel road well up into the canyon. In wet years, there will be some small springs filling the bottom of the meadow marshes.

This trail is a very popular off road vehicle route.

An interesting alternative to hiking this canyon is to walk down into the bottom of the drainage and hike the meadow like cattle trail , instead of the gravel road bed.

It is a good idea to check out a map to note the various connecting options available from this canyon, especially those old roadbeds oriented up range to the south.

The rating for difficulty is based on the altitude and the fact that unless you have a shuttle set up, you will have to hike back up to your car, for better or worse.

This trail is an excellent route for a downhill mountain bike run!

Check out the Official Route.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2012-06-10 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 Review
    Old Sunspot Hiway #5009
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    The plan was to loop this trail, including Trail 5008, Willis Canyon... with possibly adding in T112, the spur over to Bluff Springs, but the prior day's work efforts (6 hours at Habitat for Humanity and then cutting and loading a cord of wood) had left me stiff, sore and tired. As I began to drop down off the high ridge at the top of Telephone Canyon, I realized the thought of dropping down, then around and back up... then down Telephone yet again, only to have to finish by climbing all the way back up to the beginning... well, it was not a good thought. Instead, I turned around and walked back up to the ridge on top of Willie White Canyon.

    I'd noticed an old logging road bed heading off and up the ridgeline. It occurred to me that it might well stay high on the ridge and get me back up to FR 64... or at least close enough for me to make a cross country traverse without having to lose so much elevation. It was a nice thought.

    Of course, I had no map along, nor had I studied one of the area (I always do that after the hike!)

    Now, driving in the day before I had stopped and watered the horses of two riders who had been lost most of the day. Their planned eight mile ride had turned into over 14 when I ran into them, and if they followed my instructions they still had 5 miles to go to get back to their car... they had a GPS but had lost it during their first hour of riding. Here I was about to take off cross country with as little information as they had, but I've always had a good sense of direction. Dead reckoning has always worked well for me...

    ...it did again today. The old road bed turned out to go all the way back to FR64 where I was parked. I also spotted some good potentials for additional logging road hikes... and, studying the map once back to the computer, I realize there may be many more to check out. In addition to the fifty plus formal forest service trails I've yet to hike in this immediate area, there are likely hundreds of canyon logging roads to document! 2013/2014 looks to be filled already!

    I am way out of shape... hopefully this three hikes a week pattern will begin to correct that. All the remodel project work, combined with the 24 cords of wood I'm cutting is making it a bit tough!

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Cloudcroft, follow state hiway 130, 1.8 miles to Sunspot Hiway (6563), turn right and follow this road to just past milepost 13, turning left onto Forest Road 64. Pull immediately over to the side of the road once you have turned onto Fr64... your trailhead will be on your left.
    page created by imike on Jun 10 2012 5:49 pm
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