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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.

Carrizo Peak, NM

no permit
56 2 0
Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
4 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 10 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,889 feet
Elevation Gain 2,716 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,765 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 23.83
Interest Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
15  2018-04-21 nobert15
41  2013-11-28 Jim_H
Author Jim_H
author avatar Guides 55
Routes 44
Photos 7,651
Trips 1,615 map ( 9,681 miles )
Age 40 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Sep, Aug, Jul → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Winter
Sun  5:50am - 6:01pm
0 Alternative
Named place Nearby
Carrizozo's Peak
by Jim_H

Likely In-Season!
Carrizo Peak is northeast of the town of Carrizozo, New Mexico and at an elevation ranging between 9606' and 9656', depending on the source. I went with our mapdex and used a summit elevation of 9620'. The mountain appears to be extrusive igneous material, possibly Rhyolite. This mountain is isolated, harder to access for most people, the trail has not seen maintenance for years, and the summit is somewhat lacking due to trees obscuring views. It is worth a hike and summit if you are in the area, or have had your heart set on this peak. If you have excellent winter conditions and snow is present, the Sangre De Cristo Mountains east of Sante Fe, NM, are visible from a spot north of the summit.

Proceed up O-Bar-O Road or Forest Road 441, to the Johnnie Canyon Trailhead, which is marked with a nice obvious sign. This trailhead is the start of a few local trails. My Subaru made the trip easily, with snow, mud and rock on the last mile. My old sedan might have gotten to within a mile of that point. Any major 4x4 will be fine, but you'll need some clearance to get all the way in.

From the parking area, the trail starts up Johnnie Canyon on the west side of FR 441. A small sign marked #74, indicates the location, and from here it is easy to follow. The early part is an actual trail, but soon this joins what appears to be an old jeep road. This continues up canyon, and is always low in the valley. It crosses the drainage a few times, but it never leaves the canyon bottom until you start up to the first grassy saddle, well into the hike. I mention this, because there has been a lot of dead-fall in the past few years. In spots, you have to go off the old trail bed and hike up around. Not too difficult, unless your first time up the trail is after a snow and the trail hasn't been hiked by anything other than a bear (seriously).

About two-thirds of the way up canyon, a seep spring is encountered. This was the only water source I encountered, and it may not be there in dry months. It can be filtered, when present. Beyond the spring, the trail continues until you cross a small grassy meadow and shortly thereafter, a series of switchbacks take you up to the first saddle. This first saddle is where you reach trail # 72, the Carrizo Peak Trail. The trail heads west on the shady north side of a lesser peak, and reaches a second small saddle. Some elevation is lost in this section, but after the saddle you climb steadily up towards the peak via a series of switchbacks that bring you up to the signed summit. There are several rolling summits, with one just north of the oak thicket offering the best views to the north. Return the way you came.

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2013-11-28 Jim_H
    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
    Carrizo Peak
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    On the one hand I wish I had a dry trail, and I wished I had done this earlier. On the other, the clear, calm winter air and the snow on the Sangre De Cristos meant I could see from Ski Apache to Ski Sante Fe, from Organ Peak and Organ Needle, to Sante Fe Baldy, and the prairies to the east, the Magdalena Mountains to the west, and a bunch of other things.

    The recent snow was still present, but I got to have some fun using my vehicle. Early on it was fine on the trail, but entering the darker areas the snow was deepening to almost 6 inches at time. So, my shoes got wet. I followed bear tracks for a while, as they seemed to be familiar with the trail, but when they left the trail I was still able to find the correct path, even if I had to look closely a number of times. Snow did make it harder to see the trail, but it was really the slip and slide nature of it that I wasn't loving. I fell a few times on the rock coming down.

    I had to hunt for specific features on the horizon on the summit, but I was able to see the Sangres. Something I wanted. I haven't seen that far in a couple of years. Going down went far faster than up, which was good as the temperature was falling.

    This was the hike that got me over 300,000' of AEG for 2013.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Alamogordo, NM, take US 54 north from town, and continue on US 54 past Tularosa, NM, 45 miles to the town of Carrizozo. At the junction with US 380, turn east on 380 and proceed to O-Bar-O Road, which is about 1000' past the intersection with NM 37. O-Bar-O Road is also FR 441, and is a County maintained road. There are no trespassing signs on the fences and gates, the road is public. Proceed 5 miles to a fork with a small sign pointing to the right away from a collection of house. This is essentially the USFS land boundary, and 2 miles past this point is the trailhead.
    page created by Jim_H on Nov 28 2013 9:09 pm
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