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Mineral Ridge, NM

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Guide 0 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 3.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,594 feet
Elevation Gain 2,500 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,555 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.21
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible & Connecting
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
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, Mar, Nov → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:51am - 6:02pm
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Water
Hold the High Ground!
by imike

The Basin east of Alamogordo… 4500’ to 7,000’. Most of the hiking ranges lower.


There are a couple of connecting routes that can carry hikers up and out, but those orient to the Southeast… all linking to The Ortega/Dry Canyon Traverse.

In the North and Middle Upper regions there are mostly cliffs cutting off the access. It would be nice to be able to loop up/down coordinating with Beeman and Horse Ridge. Winter Peak might make an ideal destination for a more dramatic Basin hike.

The best chance of that happening: Mineral Ridge.

The Ridge lies between Mineral Springs Canyon and Mineral Springs Canyon North in the mid regions. Above Mineral Springs it ranges on the south side of Mineral Springs Canyon North. Below the Springs, the Ridge is designated as Dark Mesa.

This multi-tiered ridge walks with relative ease… sometimes overgrown, but usually allowing a winding passage ever up. The various levels of ledges and cliffs never cut off passage. Eventually, the Ridge cliffs out below Winter Peak on Horse Ridge.

While it is easy to hike the lower section, Dark Mesa, the more practical section begins as Mineral Springs Trail (T5579) winds up and over the Ridge… just as the trail drops over into Mineral Springs Canyon (at the metal water tank). Instead of walking down past the tank, continue up the middle of the ridge. You’ll note an old horse trail cutting its way up through the lower ledges.

The horse trail has not been used in decades… but its old rut will carry you for awhile. Eventually, you will have to make your own way. The southern side of the slope tends to be more overgrown… drift to the north for a clearer route.

This is off trail. Take your time and enjoy!

Note:
You can hook up with the upper portions of The Mineral Springs Trail (to the south) for most of the upper mile.

You can access the very interesting upper regions of Mineral Springs Canyon North at any time by working your way around to your left. Be careful if you decide to descend down that drainage.

So... for a short off trail trek... or a push to the top and out... this ridge just might be the ticket?


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

2013-12-08 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
    Mineral Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Ross showed for the 5:40am start... routed around to catch areas he had not hiked... diverted by wild dog pack with overly yappy little dog... checked out upper end of Mineral Springs Canyon looking for artifacts; none found. Dead air day, yet again. Energy off after yesterday's bigger effort.
    Mineral Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    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
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Park at the intersection of Indian Wells Road and Scenic Drive in Alamogordo. Walk east out of the vacant lot, up on to the levee... then south for a few hundred yards. Access the Ridge walking cross country to your East, or access it higher up along either Mineral Springs Trail... or Little Mineral Springs Trail.
    page created by imike on Dec 08 2013 9:12 am
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