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Sawmill Canyon, NM

Guide 5 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
no permit
16 5 0
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 1.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,882 feet
Elevation Gain 968 feet
Accumulated Gain 980 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.17
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
16  2013-05-20 imike
39  2013-05-13
Grindstone Trail #91
47  2013-05-06
Grindstone Trail #91
Author imike
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 0
Photos 6,930
Trips 2,467 map ( 21,513 miles )
Age 71 Male Gender
Location Cloudcroft, NM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, May, Sep → Any
Seasons   Late Winter to Early Winter
Sun  5:11am - 7:07pm
0 Alternative

Easy Walkin'...
by imike

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Your first decision: just how to access this pleasant Forest Road amble.

A simple approach, and one that starts from the base of Sawmill Canyon: park at the Inn of the Mountain Gods and walk out to the far end of the Mescalero Lake dam. Walk past the sign telling you there is no hiking nor biking, and up the hill to the east. You will pass out of the Indian Reservation as you follow the faint remains of an old logging track.

At the top of the meadow you will intersect with Forest Road 9017E. It is coming up from the entrance to Mine Canyon, your alternative start to the hike back down in Ruidoso. If you want to begin there, use the same access point used for the Grindstone Trail (91).

The referenced mileages orient from the Dam Start. You may log a mile getting across the dam, depending on where you park at the Casino.

Once on the old road, turn left and enjoy the gentle ups and downs and the partial shade as the road gently winds up canyon. Cross the little stream, turning to your right (left hits the Boundary Spur Trail)and continue on up past the next "T"...there, left takes you to the upper end of the Spur Trail; stick to the main road going up to your right.

The next intersection to your left will exit the canyon. It is yet another old logging route... and it runs over to intersect with the #22 Road, which either way you turn would carry you on to the Indian Reservation. Your Sawmill Canyon route is to yet again turn to the right and begin the steeper ascent up and on to Grindstone Mesa.

Before you reach the top of the plateau, the road will die off and you'll be hiking along the drainage off trail. Grindstone Trail (91) will be passing along the top of the ridge to your right... once the road ends you can move over and up to enjoy that trail to the top.

Once up, enjoy the Grindstone Mesa Loop (91A)... or the Grindstone Mesa Spur Trail (91B)... or just wander around the top of the Mesa.

You day can include a nice mix of off trail, on trail, Forest Road rambling... with a bit of game play at the end if you parked at the Casino!

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2013-04-30 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 $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Ruidoso, follow the signs to the Inn of the Mountain Gods, off of Hiway 70. Park at the Casino/Hotel. Walk through the building or around and down to Lake Mescalero. Walk to the far end of the lake and across the Dam. Exit the far end of the dam, angling up to the right of the canyon bottom... you should hit an old logging track within a few hundred yards... follow that up to FR 9017E.
    page created by imike on Apr 30 2013 11:27 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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