You Should Not Be Here...
This Spur Trail serves very little purpose other than to transport you down and over onto the Mescalero Indian Reservation. It intersects with a fairly decent dirt road just above Mescalero Lake.
In an emergency, either hiking the Sawmill Canyon road area, or on any of the Grindstone Mesa Trails, this route could be used to evacuate faster and easier than retracing your routes back and around to the East.
If you choose to put the route to use, make sure you turn left when you hit the improved road!
If you took the time to get permission to hike or bike on the Reservation, then this route becomes a nice connecting route between the National Forest, directly back into Ruidoso at the Grindstone Trail Trail Trailhead, assuming it is ever developed.
The portion of this route that is in the Lincoln National Forest is less than .3 miles long. The full length of the route is around .7 miles long.
The start of this route is at the top of the west ridge of Sawmill Canyon, along Sawmill Canyon Road. As you cross the ridge you enter the drainage for the North Fork Cienegita Canyon, descending down into the Indian Reservation. It would be good to be familiar with this escape route if you do much hiking in this area.
I have encountered a wide range of interesting animals in this area, including elk, deer, bear and mountain lion... they seem to enjoy the ease of moving along these old logging roads... and, they don't need permission to cross the boundary!
Note: Depending on which Topo Map is referenced, the route may or may not go further over before entering the Indian Reservation. The existing boundary fence suggests it may happen sooner... but there are no signs nor gates to open.
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.
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.