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Bull Elk Trail, NM

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Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,233 feet
Elevation Gain 330 feet
Accumulated Gain 336 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.62
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Backpack Yes & Connecting
Post the 1st photoset!
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep → Any
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:33am - 5:02pm
Route
 
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Water
Nearby Area Water
Upper Wills Canyon Trail #9278
Upper Wills Canyon Trail #9278
0.0 mi away
4.0 mi
324 ft
Rock Pile Road
0.5 mi away
2.1 mi
1,066 ft
Campsite Cut
0.5 mi away
0.5 mi
150 ft
Overlook Canyon
0.5 mi away
4.4 mi
988 ft
Hubbell Canyon Trail #9277
Hubbell Canyon Trail #9277
0.5 mi away
4.4 mi
40 ft
Fenceline Canyon
0.7 mi away
1.1 mi
256 ft
Overlook Ridge
0.7 mi away
0.5 mi
33 ft
Upper Wills Canyon Shortcut #9278a
0.9 mi away
0.5 mi
139 ft
6th Gate Canyon
1.5 mi away
2.7 mi
5 ft
Old Logging Road 6th Gate
1.6 mi away
4.3 mi
380 ft
[ View More! ]
Lots of Elk!!
by imike

This is the best of the best for off trail hikes in the Forest Road 64 corridor.

You have to hike down and around to access the bottom of this drainage. You can hike down and around Hubbell Canyon Trail, proceeding up to Fence Line Trail to the bottom of the Bull Elk Trail Drainage. Or, you can hike down the Campsite Cut Canyon and then on down Fence Line Canyon to the bottom. Or, you could hike down Fence Line Canyon from FR 64... However you choose to begin your loop, the real fun starts once your into the drainage proper.


This route is simple: you follow and effective Elk Hiway... the route clearly pounded out, winding around in a very pleasant meander. Most of the trail is hiking under Aspen or Pine or Fir... and the trail climbs through an ever increasing elevation gain. This is a steep trail... but nice. If you are looking at any of the older topo maps, this route is the old trail bed of the Upper Wills Canyon trail. That trail used to route over the ridge and terminate at the Hubble Canyon Trail. Now it ends directly connecting to FR 64. The old route has been abandoned, but this portion is nicely maintained by the large Elk herds regularly using the route to the top.

Eventually, you will emerge onto the edge of a ridge, with an apparent peak top to your right. You can walk off trail to the top hitting around 9660' within a hundred yards. That is close to the highest point in this section of the Sacramento Mountains.

Returning to your path, now following a more open ridge , just below the top to the south, you hike mostly westerly. This more open ridge hike is a great complement to the tree shrouded earlier sections.

Following the trail off and down the ridgeline, you will have an option:

1) follow the trail off the ridge, down to a bench below and to the right... then follow the bench around and to the left... with the trail finally ending in a drainage cut... from which you can climb that gully up and over into the upper reaches of Fence Line Canyon... and down and over to the west and south, intersecting with FR 64

2) instead of following the rocky trail off and down to the right... follow the ridge around and down to the left... and work your way down into the bottom of Fence Line Canyon... from there hiking up to FR 64... Or, down canyon to another connection.

Whichever route you decide upon to end your trek, it is the basic trail area that is the exceptional moment for this off trail adventure. My initial exploration of this route included Elk encounter every 100 yards or so. Bull Elk dominated the day.

This is The Hike! Enjoy!!

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
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Cloudcroft, take hiway 130, 1.8 miles out to the Sunspot Hiway. Turn right and drive just past milepost 13 to Forest Road 64. Turn left, following FR 64 4 miles to the Hubbell Canyon Trailhead. Hike .5 miles down the Hubbell trail, turning then left up into the broad drainage of Fenceline Canyon (look for the fence!) walk straight up the drainage; do not turn to the left with the fenceline.
    page created by imike on Oct 18 2012 8:54 am
    help comment issue

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