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Mill Ridge Canyon, NM

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
no permit
0 1 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 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 1.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,970 feet
Elevation Gain 910 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 Hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.13
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Post the 1st photoset!
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   Apr, Mar, Oct, Nov → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  4:56am - 7:16pm
0 Alternative

Some Idiot Drove Down This!!
by imike

Not too often you come across old roadbeds that tilt such that you climb nearly 1,000' over the course of a single mile. Given that that there are numerous areas along this route that are sort of flat, it leaves the steep areas really steep. The road was likely just an installation route bulldozed the one time to deliver and install the huge overhead power lines that snake down the drainage... and even then they could not connect the middle section. The road drops in from the top... and winds up from the bottom. The middle section is bedrock falls. Effectively, there has never been any work done to maintain the road, in fact, it appears just the opposite: they bulldozed berms to block off access. The bermed areas are extra dangerous. What is left now are Game trails winding around and through the mess.

The upper section is particularly hazardous... hyper steep and loose, slippery rock and gravel. Walk carefully. Hiking poles are not a bad idea.

The lower section on the old roadbed is moderately easy.

Remaining in the drainage bottom will include lots of minor bouldering with some occasional small falls to scramble up. You have to do the canyon bottom to move up and through the middle section. It might be the most fun to remain in the bottom for the entire hike?

This hike would make for a nice training hike except for the fact that Alamogordo has 50 better canyon training options... why drive the ten miles out of town? The practical use for this hike: combined with Mill Ridge and Dry Canyon you score an interesting loop, ideally done in colder weather when the sun exposed aspect will be appreciated.

You probably will have to do it at least one time... you can see the single track winding up the narrow gorge as you drive up Hiway 82... too tempting not to go explore.

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2012-09-20 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
    From Alamogordo, follow Hiway 82 towards Cloudcroft. Past milepost 3 look to your left and note the obvious single track trail winding down the narrow canyon with the very large high power lines. Park off the hiway, probably best below the canyon.
    page created by imike on Sep 20 2012 9:05 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    help comment issue

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