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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.

Grindstone Loop Trail #91A, NM

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Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance Loop 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,791 feet
Elevation Gain 75 feet
Accumulated Gain 110 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.05
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
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Preferred   May, Sep, Aug, Apr → Any
Seasons   Late Winter to Early Winter
Sun  5:47am - 6:07pm
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Water
It Will Exist...?
by imike

Likely In-Season!
Grindstone Loop Trail is a great idea... and has been for decades! Unfortunately, it has gone mostly unrealized. The Topo Map makes it appear to be there, connecting simply with Grindstone Trail (91) and the Grindstone Spur Trail (91B). Unfortunately, neither of those trails really exist up near the loop.


Logging activity sliced and diced the top of the Mesa, eliminating the other routes in that area. The original Loop Trail was never developed.

Now, there is action on developing the primary Grindstone Trail coming up from Mine Canyon... and a replotting and development of the Grindstone Mesa Loop Trail. The original loop, as shown on the map, fails to approach near the perimeter of the ridgeline. The new survey markers are expanded out to touch on the very edge, at points, then curve back into the dense tree cover to enjoy a variety of what the area has to offer. It should be nice, once completed.

For now... you are hiking off trail. You cannot really get lost... simply hike to one of the edges and follow it around to the inevitable roadway. Follow the road around and down off the Mesa.

Hopefully, they will do something about rehabilitating the roadbed areas. They are a major distraction to the area.

Back in 1998 then again in 2002 the guy who wrote the guidebook for the hiking trails of the Lincoln National Forest talked optimistically about these trails soon being done.

Here we are over a decade later... should we get our hopes up?

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

2013-05-14 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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Grindstone Loop Trail #91A
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Well...Interesting to finally loop all of the non-trails in the Grindstone Mesa area. Checking with the official trail guide, it comments about the plans for the system of trails, soon to be signed and developed, back in 2002. Yet, the area is nothing like is noted in the book.

    There is no loop trail nor any spur trail. There is a major road going up and over the Mesa. Oh, yeah... there is no Mesa either! The book talks about the lack of trail on the main route... there, it is now a major trail, it's just so poorly laid out (straight up hill!) that for most folks, it would not be liked. I need to go back up with a mountain bike to check out all of the roads... then maybe I can make a final assessment of the area?

    There are full fledged survey and new trail flags over most of the trail areas... it appears that there is about to be real trails... more properly laid out. Or, they just wasted about 1000 flags!

    so... how to do the write ups?

    One More Bus Monday before the Forest gets closed?

    Won a net 75 cents on the slots...
    Grindstone Loop Trail #91A
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Well, another Monday... another fifty cent bus ride! Net winnings on the slots today was only .75... but still... that and free drinks made for a nice complement.

    Something needed to be nice... the trails certainly were not!

    I'm not really sure you could even call them trails anymore... routes at best, and that might be stretching it for most of the "real" trails. The clear paths I had today were prior to the formal forest trails... the elk game trails were better maintained and easier to follow.

    These will make for very interesting writeups.

    At least there is some hope it may change... survey markers and flags were posted on all three routes. Perhaps some potential is about to be realized? I'd hoped to find clear trails, well engineered. Instead... no trails, and where the routes were clear, they were vertical ruts, cut straight up and down the ridge. I can't bring Terri's Friday group over to experience any of that. Alas.

    Day did open well... a few miles into the hike, down in Sawmill Canyon, I had a mountain lion cross the road right in front of me. Instead of the normal skulk... or slow, curious staring, this guy bounded... full stretch and flex! Got my attention! I watched the ridge above me for the next 15 minutes just in case he decided I looked plumper and easier than the elk I scared off right after crossing his path.

    Deer later to round out the animal encounters.

    Talked to a Ranger yesterday when hiking up here... they are closing all of the Lincoln before the end of the month, unless there is a major rain. They do not want the risks of so many people over the holiday... today's light mist probably did not qualify for rain.

    So... not sure how many more hikes I can score right from the Casino here... but then again, there's only a couple weeks of open forest left!

    For weight augmentation in my pack today I carried along this computer...Casino has free wifi! I could hang around up here and do the computer work, but the 1:30pm bus is a few minutes away... guess I'll head back down.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
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    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To hike
    This area is accessed off of the Grindstone Trail (91)... or by the gravel logging road dropping down into Ruidoso... or off trail up from Sawmill Canyon. It is adjacent to Mescalero Indian Reservation land, and with permission might be accessed from that side?
    page created by joebartels on May 14 2013 11:13 am
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