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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.

Roundup Grounds Plateau, NM

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Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Multi-Loop 2.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,017 feet
Elevation Gain 90 feet
Accumulated Gain 280 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.2
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
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
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:52am - 5:59pm
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Easy, Once You're On Top!
by imike

Likely In-Season!
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.

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

2013-04-28 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 Review
    Roundup Grounds Plateau
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Since Friday's hike went further than planned, I opted to make today easier than a Sunday hike would normally be. Interestingly, it turned out to be the first day I felt any of the benefits of my training! Heart rate was low on the steep climbs... legs were energized... all of the hiking felt effortless. I had not felt any of those aspects in a very long time!

    I decided to loop the real Roundup Grounds... someone last year had asked me if I'd done that, and I had to admit I'd never ventured out towards those points north of the forest trail; today would be the day.

    The up/down to the saddle above Deadman Canyon gives you a nice 1600'+ hit, much of it very steep... above the 1000' per mile mark. Once on top, the plateau is soft walking, and very nice. Gazing over the east side cliffs I noticed a game trail... a really well developed game trail down below on a bench above the bottom of Alamo Canyon. It peaked my interest; the other day I'd spotted an old road cut from the bottom of the canyon heading up into what I thought was the same side canyon cut the trail was heading for. It needed to be checked out.

    I noted the likely elevation for the trail, then wandered around the plateau some more, eventually heading down the upper part of the T107... The connection was obvious once I was looking for it. Where T107 left Roundup Canyon and wound around and over, to drop down into a gully... that was the place to not drop, but instead to cross the gully and move up and around the obvious use trail.

    It clung to the cliff top edge (often too close!!!) and remained a clear trail. I suspected a water source deadend around in the canyon where I thought the old road cut might join this route. I was wrong. No water. That meant this trail went somewhere... likely the canyon bottom...?

    It continued to wind around then further around. I was getting a great canyon overview where I normally have to slog river bottom for miles... this was great! And, it continued all the way around to the west side of the Plateau... reconnecting with the Forest Trail 107... but the last few hundred yards were without trail. The bench had widened out to a broad shelf at that point, and the game had diffused their patterns. So, this lower connection was effectively hidden; no specific trail intersection! Very Nice.

    All in all, a great morning hike... this new trail section is a great addition to the hikes for the area, with unique trail qualities. Guess I have to decide if/when to show it to the local club hikers...

    The route also illustrated, finally, a good route up to Pyramid Peak. Looking directly cross canyon I spotted a game trail heading up to easily connect to that ridge. So, Pyramid can now be a destination hike instead of a peak in passing from the usual higher routes. No one likes the pipeline so the peak rarely comes into play. It can now!

    really good day!

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
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    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To hike
    This area is accessed off of Trail 104 (Alamo Canyon Trail) or Trail 107 (Roundup Grounds Trail) or from the Deadman's Canyon drainages. Practical access from Alamogordo: upper end of Alamo Canyon Road
    page created by imike on Apr 28 2013 10:56 am
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