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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 Logging Road 6th Gate, NM

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Guide 0 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Distance One Way 4.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,490 feet
Elevation Gain 101 feet
Accumulated Gain 380 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.57
Interest Off Trail Hiking
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   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → Any
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:51am - 6:00pm
0 Alternative
Road to No Where?
by imike

Likely In-Season!
The one nice benefit from all that clear cut logging here in the Sacramento Mountains back 100 years ago: the left over road beds!?

The trees have for the most part regrown. I'm told the meadows are smaller now as a result of all the logging? A number of the old railway beds and logging roads have been claimed and developed as formal trails... but the true gems are the abandoned tracks, often reclaimed and overgrown... wherein only the hiker or adventurous mountain biker can venture. This 6th Gate track is one of the best of those. It winds deeply into a section of the forest, along the sides of a winding ridge. You are neither near the bottom of the canyon nor near the top of the ridge. The route is often overgrown; you get to enjoy lots of nice shade. There are some uncleared deadfalls, but not too many. There should be no ATV's! You cannot fully rely on that to be the case, but your chances are fairly good.

You get the feeling that the road is leading you somewhere... it is just too nice and too long not to connect... and, if you glance at most of the topo maps, they do show the road doing just that... big loop down and into Wills Canyon.

The map shows the road winding around and down to connect to Wills Canyon along an old trail route 5008B (July Canyon). In fact the roadbed deadends up in the middle of the canyon. It is easy to drop off of the graded shelf to the canyon bottom to make your way on out... or, head up one of the drainage cuts leading up and away from the road. The one at the end of the roadway will lead you right to the top, connecting with Willie White Trail, Willie White Canyon, and Old Logging Road 6411. The drainage before the end (the old 5008B route) connects with 6411 a bit sooner. All are great connecting loop options. You can not go wrong wandering around in this area.

Because of the lack of motorized travel, your chances for spotting wildlife are greatly enhanced in this area!

Fun Stuff!!

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

2012-10-09 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 Logging Road 6th Gate
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    6th Gate Logging Road
    Triplog: July 4, 2012

    After I downloaded all of my recent hike tracks from the GPS unit to the computer, the map illustrated an entire drainage area that I'd looped around but never quite penetrated... I'd seen another metal pole barrier at the top of that drainage, but it had not appeared that there was much of a roadway being guarded. Wrong!!

    I headed over to that gate early, light drizzle intermittently hazing the air. It should not go to real rain until much later in the day... I was counting on that. Once beyond the gate, it was clear that in fact, it was a well developed logging road, initially following the contours of the canyon, then moving around, up and off and away. It was nice. It looped up and down and around for over 4 miles! Oddly enough, it deadended... just a little bit above a broad open canyon. After an easy traverse, I made my way down and into Upper Wills Canyon, one of the official trails... then around and back up and into the canyon I began the day descending.

    Along the way I also found a split cut that lead me to a connecting ridge with 6411, the old logging road above Brown Canyon. And, where I departed from the end of the logging road, there was a trail to explore up canyon... and another up canyon cut back along the logging road aways. I need to head back over and check out both of those routes, plus as the day began and I headed down canyon on the logging road I noticed another old logging road taking off down the opposite side of the canyon.

    There just seems to be more and more routes to explore.

    I'm not exactly certain why, possibly the lack of ATV activity in this large drainage area, but this was a morning filled with Elk. 60-80 Elk encounters. They were below me... above me... ahead of me... behind me... and they were making all kinds of a racket. At times it sounded like the chittering of a hoard of monkeys... at other times, the normal bugle bursts. For awhile there was an ongoing broadcast that sounded much like a pod of tenor whales sonaring their wants... it was a very interesting couple of hours.

    I like that initial old logging road route... much longer than most in the area... winding... around and up and down... tree lined... tree shrouded. This might be the very best I've come across. Even though it has a dead end, there remain a number of looping potentials.

    Sunny and breezy and chilly as I ended the hike back at the Campsite. Time to read, eat, nap... then go fill the trailer with firewood. Looks like rain for the afternoon. This is nice up here... as the rest of the nation drowns in heat and fires... up here it is monsoon season... afternoons in the 60's and lower. Wow!!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Cloudcroft, drive 1.8 miles out on hiway 130, turning right on to Sunspot Hiway (6563), following that paved road past milepost 13, then turning left onto the gravel Forest Road 64. Follow FR 64 to the metal barricaded roadway on your left, shortly after you pass the marked trailhead for Corral Canyon on your right. If you reach the Wills Canyon Trailhead on your left, you went too far!
    page created by imike on Oct 09 2012 11:21 am
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