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Sacramento Lake Canyon, NM

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Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,495 feet
Elevation Gain 405 feet
Avg Time One Way Two Hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.85
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2012-12-01 imike
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, Aug, Jul, May → Any
Seasons   Early Spring to Early Winter
Sun  6:31am - 5:03pm
Route
 
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Water
Nearby Area Water
Thousand Mile Canyon Trail #9216
Thousand Mile Canyon Trail #9216
0.3 mi away
1.4 mi
952 ft
Rock Pile Road
1.1 mi away
2.1 mi
1,066 ft
Overlook Canyon
1.2 mi away
4.4 mi
988 ft
Campsite Cut
1.2 mi away
0.5 mi
150 ft
Hubbell Canyon Trail #9277
Hubbell Canyon Trail #9277
1.3 mi away
4.4 mi
40 ft
Fenceline Canyon
1.4 mi away
1.1 mi
256 ft
Overlook Ridge
1.5 mi away
0.5 mi
33 ft
Moonshine Trail #90V
1.6 mi away
1.5 mi
-1,344 ft
Bull Elk Trail
1.6 mi away
1.5 mi
336 ft
Upper Wills Canyon Trail #9278
Upper Wills Canyon Trail #9278
1.6 mi away
4.0 mi
324 ft
[ View More! ]
Worth the Drive!
by imike

If you are looking for a tree shrouded getaway, fully off trail yet readily available and easy to hike, complete with a compliment of higher altitude, this might be the hike for you.

This canyon is hidden on the west side of the lake, just up from the dam.


I use this canyon cut as a shortcut off of the Rim Trail, creating loops back and around to my car parked at either West Side Road or over by Apache Observatory, but you could just as easily park at Sacramento Lake, taking advantage of their large paved parking area, and walk immediately over and up into this great drainage. The walking is easy: a clearly defined elk trail runs the length of the canyon, but even without that track, the bottom is meadow smooth. The grade is gentle. Towards the top you will encounter an old logging track that you could follow to make your own interesting loops connecting around to other adjacent canyons... or, connect with the Rim Trail. Better yet, just spend your time in this canyon; it will not get better!

It is nice to top out, cross the Rim Trail and take in the nice overview of the Tularosa Basin, with White Sands lying far below.

Note: from the parking area for the lake, walk west towards the edge of the paved area, looking for the hikers gate. Move through the opening, down the hill, across the dam to the far side of the Sacramento basin. Turn right and follow the tree line up to the first canyon on your left. Close the wire gate after you enter the canyon bottom!

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.

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
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Cloudcroft, follow hiway 130, 1.8 miles... then turn right to follow the Sunspot hiway (6563) all the way to the turnoff for Sunspot, NM... then continue on down that paved hiway until you reach the pull out parking on the west side of the road for the Sacramento Lake basin. Park at the parking lot.
    page created by imike on Dec 17 2012 2:08 pm
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