register help

Yellow Rocks, NM

13 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southwest
0 of 5 by 0
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,344 feet
Elevation Gain 1,100 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,140 feet
Avg Time One Way One Hour
Kokopelli Seeds 5.8
Interest Ruins, Historic, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
Dogs not allowed
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
Expand Map
Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:54am - 6:03pm
0 Alternative
Fillmore Canyon Light...
by imike

There are many great hikes within the Dripping Springs area of the Organ Mountain Recreational Area. The official trails tend to be a bit on the "too easy" side... scenic, but just not enough of an effort required to get the juices flowing. The unofficial routes: Organ Peak, Little Ice Canyon, Organ Needle... well, those are beyond the pale; too tough for most folks wanting just an enjoyable few hours out. Yellow Rocks splits the difference nicely.

This route is the approach hike to head up to Organ Needle... it has all the same great scenery without any of the over the top efforts or pain. Head out from the La Cueva Picnic area, following the trails over to connect with the official Fillmore Canyon trail. The Fillmore Canyon trail goes up to the old Modoc Mine site, then around and up into the canyon bottom... leading to a great grotto like waterfall area. Instead of continuing on into the canyon bottom, to head up to Yellow Rocks you instead move to the left and around the old mine site, following the clear trail up to the canyon rim. You will enjoy nice overviews down into that official Fillmore Trail area as you work your way up past the huge waterfall. Take the time to move over to the edge of the canyon and check out the old man made dam at the top.

From there the trail heads up canyon, following the north side of Fillmore Canyon. The trail is obvious unless the locals have not been active recently. You can site your destination early on: the large yellow outcropping fin lying below the main part of the mountain cliffs.

You will eventually notice another trail coming in from your left... that track leads up and over to the other old mine sites and the Jeep road that accesses the area off of Baylor Canyon Road.

You could choose to start your hike from that Jeep road, giving you the opportunity to begin a bit earlier in the day. The picnic area at Dripping Springs officially opens at 8am... they tend to unlock the gate around 7:30am. There is also no fee if you enter on the Jeep Road. The Park charges by the car.

Go slow and enjoy the massive cliffs surrounding Fillmore Canyon and the towering spires of the Needles... the scenery is exceptional.

Beyond the Yellow Rocks... there lie monsters. Beware of venturing up into the scramble that is Organ Needle Peak!

Check out the Triplog.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2012-11-01 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 Reviews
    Yellow Rocks
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    rode the $2 bus over to check out the potentials... that's one cheap 90 mile ride! Once over in Cruces, can hop on the bike and ride out for the hiking. Today I met up with Yubao for a ride up to hike Yellow Rocks and a variety of other trails in the area... once they close down the Lincoln National Forest (three weeks away?) this may become my twice weekly hike pattern! This is one nice looking area!!

    Met up with Terri and her 11 hikers... they were enjoying their Friday outing.

    Nice day.
    Yellow Rocks
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hmmm... this is going to be an interesting triplog to compose... as might the hike description I should write to better define this trail. It is a trail, and as of the end of today, it is an open passage to the top... a few of took the extra time to remove all of the obstructing brush, even in the lower lying stretches.

    Trail though it might be, for the average hiker the route moves more like a precarious off trail passage. The lower couple of miles, whether you access from the old mining road as illustrated on the GPS route, or the really nice trail up from Fillmore Canyon trail are sane, safe and pleasant. Those miles bring you nicely up to the formation called Yellow Rocks. For most hikers, their day should end at this point.

    That is not to say that there is not more to experience above and beyond that point... for the very conditioned hiker... one without issues of endurance, bad knees, less than great balance, limited descending skills... and eventually, scrambling exposure, to go beyond that point might be inviting. If any of those are at issue, a less than pleasant day may be ahead..

    I'm glad I hiked this trail while I am still way out of shape and carrying a heavy backpack. In shape with a moderate load it could be a fast scramble up and back down. Most of my perspective expressed in this triplog (...and I'll hopefully include that perspective in the trail description) was garnered from talking with the variety of people on the hike. Their opinions spanned the spectrum about what the day was about.

    The truly fit and accustomed to this style route: it was a day out, not so different than any other...

    Others felt it was a challenge day... really hard to get up and down in the allowable daylight... a day that would require three or four days to recover from.

    Others... just not fun. One hiker fell six times (fell five times the last time she did it). Another hiker fell three times. Basically, there was no good footing above Yellow Rock... and that feature added undue tension to the day.

    Others... worst day of hiking ever!! Terrible route... pointless to ever go... take a hammer and hit yourself repeatedly instead; it would be more fun!

    Myself... the extra slow pace made the up/down relatively easy. I was cutting brush most of the time. My extra heavy pack was giving me a high quality training day, in some respects. The footing was slippery; it was not a good route for my kind of endurance training... too scaly to run up or down. I'd have to say the better, more enjoyable day would be to hike Yellow Rock instead of the peak, but then again I'm not really a peak bagger. Most everyone on the trail today was just that... they wanted that top.

    That raises yet another issue... just below the top is an exposed bit of scrambling. It has very secure foot placement... a couple of easy moves and you are around it. But, there is exposure. For those hikers sensitive to that issue, it could be a major problem. I talked one hiker through the section; he was scared to death. It is hard for folks not effected by exposure to realize the extent of the issue for those feeling the over impact of irrational perspective... irrational, but very real in that moment. There could even be an argument that there could be valid danger if a mistake were to happen.

    I opted to forego the top and visit with another hiker today. I'll go back another day. My camera had died by then... I have to go back for more pictures anyway. I will wait until I am fully trained up so that I can catch the other end of the viewpoint perspective.

    If I do write the description it will be the hardest I have ever written... I'm not sure how to effectively balance the ranges of feelings about this hike.

    Now, I do not get to rest up from the day's efforts.. I need to cleanup... pakcup... and get ready for a 6am departure in the morning on one of the longer, harder canyon hikes. Probably will not get much sleep... might be slow going tomorrow!

    Oh, yeah... I cached 60 oz lemonade down at Yellow Rocks for my hike out... only an empty bottle sitting there for me when I got to it on the way out! Ideally, fluid karma will rebalance on whomever snagged my drink!!

    Maybe they really needed it... Maybe they wished they were home, hitting themself with a hammer!

    Good Day on The Mountain!!!

    Permit $$
    information is in description

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Las Cruces, follow Dripping Springs road to it's far east end, to the locked gate entry for the Dripping Springs recreational area. Proceed over to the La Cueva Picnic area where you can pay your self serve entry fee. Toilets at the picnic ground.
    page created by imike on Nov 01 2012 12:19 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker