Alamo Peak Trail offers one of the rare valley views from the top of the Sacramento Mountains... the dense forest opens up on these slopes to give the trekker a chance to see what is off and away. You may also be caught off guard looking up and seeing a large, black globe perched on top of the peak: Alamo Peak Observatory. It is the paved road into the Observatory that gives us such easy access to this steep cut trail.
The trail negotiates various steep, gravelly switchbacks in the first mile before it levels out under heavy tree canopy, following a seasonal stream that is one of the water sources for Alamogordo, NM down in the valley. The various cast pipes adjacent to the trails are their taps routing the springs cleanly down the mountain.
Departing from the trailhead you follow T109 1.5 miles to the junction of T110, at that point turning to your left and following T110 uphill for 1.7 miles. Reaching the ridge, you turn left onto the Rim Trail (T105) and follow it a bit over 3 miles back to the paved road leading into the Observatory... which by turning left one last time will lead you back to the Trailhead in just over one mile. If you'd like to avoid walking on the pavement, there is an obvious path back up the hill adjacent to the pavement: just follow the power lines through the woods up to the Observatory.
Option: At 1.5 miles into the hike, Instead of turning left on T110, you may proceed further down T109 to connect with T111 one mile further down hill. You may then turn left and proceed up T111 for 1.6 miles and intersect the Rim Trail (T105) at the exact same spot with T110. This will add an additional 650' of descending and climbing to your hike, along with an additional mile. T111 averages 1,000 ft per mile, and is steeper in the last half, so it makes for a much more difficult route.
The area is used for cattle grazing, and you may encounter some confused bulls along the route... along with the many deer and elk and turkey typical to the area. One of the larger meadows and seasonal lakes may be found off T105, up on top of the ridge. This area is known as Atkinson's Meadows and is a popular car camping area.
This loop is very representative of the hiking available in the Sacramento Mts... narrow winding trails moving beneath thick Pine canopy... and, broad paths, old jeep road accesses moving up overly steep grades.
Winter months will likely find this trail snow covered, and the narrow paved road access iced over.
This is a moderately difficult hike.
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.
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