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Basin North Wash, NM

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Guide 0 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 3.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,594 feet
Elevation Gain 1,800 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,830 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.9
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
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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Do It Once!
by imike

This canyon/wash has to be considered in two parts...

The lower section, basically the first two miles: shallow, open wash surrounded by low hills. It winds around, mostly with walking in the assorted size gravel of the wash bottom. There is very little bedrock walkway to enjoy. While not too overgrown, it is a touch on the dull side.


It does get better the higher you take it...

... too a point.

What has been extremely easy will now become hard (the canyon rating is all about this next section).

Around two miles in the canyon bends sharply to the north and begins to ascend Beeman Ridge.

The cut goes all the way up to the obvious saddle high up in the cliffs. If you proceed, the mostly flat canyon turns into a mostly steep, scrambly climb. The only practical application for this upper section may be that it cuts across the far end of the Garden Wall hike. I have used this canyon to descend off those walls... connecting over to the much nicer Mineral Springs trails for the walk around and down.

Exiting this canyon at any time in the first few miles allows you to do an easy traverse over to the South and those nicer hikes. Up out and over and you'll be having a better day.

Note: the far outer ends of the Indian Wells Trail (from the Space Museum) cut across this wash. If you are watching closely you will see it slide in from the north and exit immediately to the south.

This is not a bad route... it is just not as nice as the others close by. Still, it is nice to check out this wash that drains the far northern reaches of The Basin.

Do It Once!

Note
This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2013-12-07 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
    Basin North Wash
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Explored yet another of the north side spur cuts... hyper steep... interesting route. Very interesting rock! Once on top of Beeman Ridge, checked out a new descending route and got lucky. Not for everyone, but a great boulder scramble to the bottom and just right to catch the Sentinels along the old horse trail. Exited the trail and enjoyed the shortcut Spur past the Beeman Well. I vote to make this exit the primary trail route off the ridge!
    Basin North Wash
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Basin North... Cliffs

    The basic Basin North Wash drains most of the South side of Beeman Ridge. The main cut flows east from the levee to the breaking cliffs where the road to Mineral Springs cuts sharply south... Basin North cuts sharply north at around that same area.

    Till that point it parallels Mineral Springs North, often separated by just a narrow strip of ridge.

    Numerous spur cuts flow down all along the length of Beeman Ridge... our path today followed one of the main forks, a route that we hoped would carry us up to the level of the huge white cliffs above the Garden Wall.

    I expected an over grown gully...

    We got lucky... more of a nicely boulder accented shallow canyon. Lots of nice rock. As we approached the Garden Wall level there was interesting bouldering. Above the Wall... even better.

    The cut split and re-split... we chose those that tended to angle us towards the west end of the cliffs. We got really lucky and scored the cut that ascended right to the far west end. Further west the cut formed an upper canyon that looked like it would top out on Beeman ridge (… more future exploratories!)

    There were a series of dryfalls approaching the cliffs... 8 levels of fun scrambling.

    Once to the cliffs we moved east around the base... pretty nice route if it were cleared of sticky stuff. We enjoyed some great vistas... and had a nice lunch break among a variety of giant boulders below the cliffs. Today, we cut our outing short once we reached the cut back into the main drainage. We descended to the Garden Wall and followed the route of the bike single track... down and around to the main drainage and down the ridge to catch the bike single track running from the Space Museum.

    We opted to finish up with the nice bedrock section of Mineral Springs North down and around to the levee. Six hours of moderate effort... and a delightful day!
    Basin North Wash
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Slow, easy start to day… no one signed up for the planned hike… odd, had ten other hikers yesterday! So, I changed plans… headed over to check out an approach hike that might work for Terri’s Friday group.

    Cloudy, a bit dismal… and cold. Since it was just going to be a short outing I did not bother packing food or drink. Around 8:30am I headed off from the trailhead. The Basin area is confusingly crisscrossed with drainages; hard to figure out which is which down in the lower regions. I headed up the first one I came to… and soon realized it was not the one I intended to explore… (Mineral Springs North) but it was one I needed to hike. This Basin North Wash. It effectively drained the northern portion of the Basin area, up to the Saddle on Beeman Ridge. I’d hiked the upper portion of this wash exiting off the end of the Garden Wall hike years earlier. Nice to see the rest of it...?

    It was okay… bit over an hour to get up to where I had been before. Those couple of miles might make an okay leg of a loop on a warmer, more cheerful day.

    So… up and out and over into the cut I was supposed to be surveying. I’d simply down hike it; it would give me the same pics and no problem finding the bottom exit.

    But… I’d never really been to the upper reaches of this canyon… and it looked to be a major improvement over the cut I’d started the day with… I figured I could at least go around a couple of bends and see what was there…

    … wow… there was a lot!

    Many bends later… and another hour in passing, I’d moved through some really nice canyon sections, finally topping out with a 30’ overhanging falls. It looked like there was another mile above me… and possibly a passage on up to Winter Peak?

    But… this was supposed to be a short day! Then again… if there was a way down off Winter peak to this western perspective, it could make for a great loop… so… instead of heading down canyon I traversed around the cliffs over on to Mineral Ridge. I figured I could at least check out the viability of moving down that ridgeline.

    It worked out well… Once on the ridge and moving down, it was not long before I hit upon an old horse trail… many years unused. It told me there would be no problem making my way down and off. I enjoyed the descent, catching views of upper Mineral Springs Canyon and The Basin in general.

    Back around to the mouth of the upper part of Mineral Springs Canyon North (the cut I’d been in before hitting the ridge) I dropped in and walked out.

    Now I know where to access the bottom… it was not where I thought.

    4.5 hours… two new canyons… one new ridge… not a bad morning!

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
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    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From White Sands Blvd (the main road through Alamogordo) take any main artery street East to Scenic Drive. Take Scenic Drive north to Indian Wells Road. Park in the big vacant lot east of the intersection. Exit on the trail leaving the northeast corner of the lot... walk up and on to the levee. Drop over the levee heading east. You will find an old roadbed running north/south... follow that south a short distance, turning into an up the first drainage you hit. You will have crossed the exposed city waterpipe just as you reach the mouth of this canyon.
    page created by imike on Dec 07 2013 4:00 pm
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