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LINCOLN NATIONAL FOREST
The Sacramento Mountains district of the Lincoln National Forest is located in the Southeast section of New Mexico between the Tularosa Basin to the west and the Pecos River Basin to the East. Cloudcroft is the largest town along Highway 82 at the crest of the mountains. Up between 8 and 9000 feet, this is a perfect summer getaway or an excellent area for winter sports. The forests are composed of Douglas Fir, Ponderosa pine, Aspen, and Oak. There is a wide range of wildlife, including Deer, Elk, and Bear. Cloudcroft is a popular recreational site for many kinds of activities, including camping and hiking. There are over 100 miles of hiking trails within 30 miles of Cloudcroft, many of which are along old logging roads, railroad grades, and existing old trails. Views from the ridges of the Sacramento Mountains over the Tularosa Basin are superb, assuming the weather conditions permit.
TAYLOR CANYON TRAIL #T5007
The Taylor Canyon Trail #T5007 is one of three trails that heads up to the Benson Ridge/Bluff Springs Trail #T5006. The trailhead is 2.6 miles in along the Rio Penasco Road C17 at a signed Trail Head. The trail follows Taylor Canyon up to the Schofield/Benson Canyon Trail #T5007C with multiple options of trails leading to the Benson Ridge Trail. This two-mile trail has an elevation gain of 700 feet, with the last half going through some very picturesque meadows. This trail can be used as part of a longer loop hike, but other than returning along the Taylor trail, there will be a mile to a mile and a half return trip along the Rio Penasco Road C17, which is quite scenic also.
The Taylor Canyon Trail #T5007 starts in a small canyon to the east of Taylor Canyon. This trailhead is signed with plenty of areas to park. Just to the east of the trailhead is Marcia Cemetery for those who like checking those out. This trail is along an old jeep/logging road like many of the other trails around Cloudcroft. The trail heads west toward Taylor Canyon the first mile, gaining 500 of the 700-foot climb, then levels out as it approaches the Creek bed of Taylor Canyon. At 1.5 miles, the trail follows a rounded creek bottom meadow the rest of the way. At the northern terminus of the trail is an unsigned junction with the Schofield/Benson Canyon Trail #T5007C, where you can either go right or left. To the right, it is 0.5 miles to the Benson Ridge/Bluff Spring Trail #T5006; to the left, it is about 1 mile to the Schofield Canyon Trail #T5007A. Multiple trails along the Schofield/Benson Canyon Trail make for plenty of loop hike options. All the trails in this area are very scenic and make for pleasant hiking.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
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.