Easy, Once You're On Top!
Though one of the few formal Forest Service Trails that orient out of the Alamogordo area carries the name: Roundup Grounds Trail (T107), that trail does not begin to touch on the experience of hiking the real Roundup Grounds. The trail climbs along above the bench on the north side of Deadman's Canyon, eventually cresting the saddle between Deadman's Canyon and Roundup Canyon. The part of the trail that crosses the plateau is nice, but short.
To truly experience the Roundup Grounds Plateau you need to leave the trail.
You can hike off in any direction, either along the edges of the plateau, looping around the rolling hills... or off up and over the ridge across the middle of the peninsula. Any of the possible routes will yield exceptional vista views and pleasant ambling.
This plateau is bordered on the west by Deadman's Canyon... to the north and east by Alamo Canyon... and to the east, south east by Roundup Canyon. It lies at the northern foot of Long Ridge.
The Plateau ranges in the 6,000' level...
You may access the plateau from the formal trail, or off trail up Deadman's Canyon... or along the Roundup Cliffs Trail. If you simply loop the upper perimeter edges of the plateau out towards Alamo Canyon you will likely log a bit over two miles of grassland hiking. If you venture out and around the entire grazing areas you will hike closer to four miles. You have the approach mileage and return mileage to factor into your day... plan accordingly.
A great outing is to approach the Plateau up the Roundup Grounds Trail... enjoy the grasslands... then loop down and around, returning on the Roundup Cliffs Trail. That makes for four to six hours of moderate efforts, and includes great overviews of many of the areas ridges and canyons.
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.
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