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Pipe Springs Spur Trail, 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 mile
Trailhead Elevation 5,368 feet
Elevation Gain 330 feet
Accumulated Gain 340 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.13
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Connecting Only
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, Mar, Apr, Nov → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:51am - 6:02pm
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Water
It Is Really Only Half Mile Long!
by imike

This short cattle track connects the Lower Pipe Springs to the Upper Pipe Springs, on a fairly clear trail that wraps around out of the drainage cut to the south, then wraps back around the ridge, re-entering and crossing the cut above the steep cliff formations. It then wraps back over to the pipeline that feeds the lower tank, and follows the upper portion of that ABS line up to the Upper Pipe Springs.


As you stand at the lower tank you will note the cattle track moving off and up to your right as you stare up the small canyon. That is your trail.

There are game trails also ascending the canyon, taking a more direct and much steeper approach. They would intersect the cattle route as it crosses above the rock falls formation. The cattle route is the better choice.

The Lower Pipe Springs is located just above and across from the intersection of the upper trailhead for the Roundup Grounds Trail (t107), and just below and across from the mouth of Purgatory Canyon.

The low bench formation on the north side of Alamo Canyon once held a portion of the old mine road, now mostly gone from sight, but the canyon cut above the bench is clear. Walk up onto and up into the cut until you reach the metal water tank, probably overflowing and creating a seeping spring down the hill. The Lower Pipe Springs will likely have cattle loitering about... a common mess in the Sacramento Mountains.

Upper Pipe Springs is easily located along the roadway that follows the Aquaduct Ridge Trail. The ABS pipeline flows out and down from the concrete tank overflow. If hiking down from above, simply follow the pipeline down the hill to the south. The intersection with the cattle track diverting off to your left can be faint, but if all of a sudden you find yourself going too steeply down into the canyon... you passed it! Turn around and move back up hill. There are cliffs below you; use the trail.

This handy spur trail allows for nice and easy access to the ridge... and gives you a trail connecting route on up to Pyramid Peak and beyond.

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

2013-05-03 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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Pipe Springs Spur Trail
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Mary cancelled...so, did this easier semi. Exploratory hike...rescheduled purgatory for a later day. Ross, William and Will along. Bagged Pyramid peak and explored Pipe springs canyon. It was good... May not use the trail much anymore... Canyon full of bedrock down to the tank. Roundup cliffs trail showing heavier use...it is going to get really popular.
    Pipe Springs Spur Trail
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    First of the longer, progressive Saturday training hikes over and done!

    Though posted on the Meetup.com Calendar, this is not one of the hikes I really want anyone to show up for. If they are in shape and trained up I am probably going at a too slow pace to be of much benefit to them. If they are not trained up enough to be ready for this level of effort it will not turn out well for anyone.

    I noticed that today I hit the peak well before the time typical with other hikers along... and I'd altered the route early in the day to add on extra AEG before the push to the peak. So, over an hour early and with an extra 1200'+ already scored.

    I had rushed the prep for the hike. I did not pack any food. I decanted a gallon of non-fat chocolate milk, a quart of vitamin water and 16 oz 80 calorie energy drink. I was guessing at an 11 hour effort with 200 calorie an hour intake to catalyze fat metabolism... sort of a plan.

    Not exactly an early start, but with the longer days I felt okay with that. I hit the trail at 6:38am. Around 7:30 I popped open the Energy drink to break fast (a couple hours early for me!)

    Slow pace... lower energy.

    I noticed that once I'd begun drinking I was tending towards a fairly steady intake; I refilled one of the Quart containers at the high spring below the peak.

    Early to the peak I wandered off trail and found a place in the sun and out of most of the wind (high gusts today! 40 mph!) I realized I needed to slow my pace; get into a more casual mindset for the day, so I dug to the bottom of the pack and pulled out a MRE and a bottle of spicy peanuts. I took the time to enjoy the food pack (... the 1200 calories were likely not a bad idea, either. That and the 500+ calories from the peanuts likely made sense on this longer/harder day.)

    I decided to loop longer, kicking off this series with 25 miles and 7000'. The next effort will go to 30 miles with at least as much AEG. The time and mileage is the emphasis for the coming months; every other Saturday.

    Fluids did run out. I also was worrying about potassium intake (... brain dead! forgot the milk would score over 6,000! I cramp up in the evening after the hike if fluid/potassium intakes have been too low).

    So, home sucking down an additional half gallon of vitamin water... listening to the wind howl.

    A good day!

    Odd to reflect on the perspective of being "in shape". I feel i have a long way to go to reach that condition. I'm still 20 pounds away from hitting event weight. All my training is at a too slow pace. I'm probably two months away from being able to do a fifty mile day with any ease. At age 50 I went out without training and did 53 miles in 11 hours and 20 minutes. That day included 8,000' AEG. At age 60 I managed a 50 mile day with 19,000' AEG...by either of those standards I am not yet back in good shape. Then again... by most everyone else's standard, for age 65 I should be more than happy with what I've can do. So Odd.

    Good Pictures today... new computer on the way... finally might be able to catch up with the editing and posting?
    Pipe Springs Spur Trail
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Pyramid Peak via Pipe Springs
    Wednesday... the day to meet up with hiking partners to enjoy "A" trail. Today I thought it would go to Ortega Peak, but Terri canceled out. I still headed up at 6am, but instead of continuing to the top I looped back down to see if Unchip might show up at her old time. Another no show. Instead of heading back up the hill, I decided to head over to Alamo Canyon and redo Roundup Cliffs from the lower trailhead, then see if there really was a good route up to Pyramid Peak.

    It was an interesting day. I made sure I had enough fluids along (did not want a repeat of last Friday!) 168 oz... should do the job.

    The cliffs portion was great... I took the time to more carefully document the various highpoints and to document the side canyons flowing into Alamo Canyon (more exploratory hikes to do!) I think I'll add the Cliffs trail into my maintenance schedule... it is a great route; nice to have some of the trail slightly improved.

    Dropping down into the upper portion of Alamo Canyon I crossed up to the bench where Lower Pipe Springs flowed. I waded through the cattle... and once at the tank began to look up canyon for the game trail I'd spotted last week. My eye caught on a cattle track moving around and out of the canyon, but with an upward angle. Checking it out, I discovered it did go up... instead of steeply climbing towards the cliffs like the game trail in the canyon, it gave a softer loop around and out of the canyon, then over and back into the canyon... above the cliffs! It was an easy walk into the canyon proper, then across and out the other side. Once onto the lower ridge slopes I intersected the water pipe that carried flow from Upper Pipe Springs down to Lower Pipe Springs. The route became very easy from that point on: follow the ABS pipe!

    At the springs I intersected the roadway that is Aquaduct Ridge Trail... and took it over to Pyramid Peak. On top of the peak I enjoyed the panoramic views... and took ten shots with my camera that together would form a 360 presentation.

    So... there was a good route to the Ridge... and it did start where I thought after spotting the game trail... it simply was not what I thought it would be... it was better.

    I looped back to the truck along the bottom of Alamo Canyon... shooting pictures of the mouths of all the side canyons... thinking about hitting each of those over the coming month. It just stays good.

    Drank all of the fluids plus another 75 oz once back home!

    GPS Stuff:

    T104 Trailhead...(4650')
    .64 mile T107 Trailhead (4836')
    1.08 mile Roundup Cliff Bench (5162')
    1.40 mile Falls (5285')
    2.34 mile T103/T104 (5510')
    2.80 mile High point (5546')
    2.94 mile High point (5581')
    3.00 mile T107/Cliffs (5550')
    3.29 mile T107 Trailhead (5364')
    3.35 mile Lower Pipeline Springs (5390')
    3.86 mile Upper Pipeline Springs (5690')
    4.45 mile Pyramid Peak (6140')

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To hike
    This Spur trail connects Aquaduct Ridge Trail with Alamo Canyon Trail (t104). It has further looping potentials with Roundup Grounds Trail (t107), and Roundup Cliffs Trail. It is the route to access Pyramid Peak.
    page created by imike on May 02 2013 1:28 pm
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