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Mineral Springs Canyon, NM

no permit
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Guide 0 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 2.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,595 feet
Elevation Gain 1,005 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.65
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Historic, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Oct → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:51am - 6:02pm
0 Alternative
Lost in The Mix...
by imike

The most unique characteristic to be found in the area canyons: Water!

This canyon is distinguished by the most well known of all the area wet spots: Mineral Springs. Really, it is its only highlight. The Spring flows out of a cave in the upper reaches of the canyon. The canyon bowls out over the next quarter mile above the Spring. The lower section of the canyon is an open, overgrown drainage that offers little.

To the south of the canyon lies Little Mineral Springs Trail, an old Jeep route that winds up and along Lost Trail Canyon North. To the north lies the lower section of Mineral Ridge: Dark Mesa.

The Minerals Springs Trail (T5579) runs into then out of the Canyon along the section holding the Spring.

An old metal water tank resides just below the Spring. At this point an old Jeep track curves up and out to the north (T5579). An alterative route follows the canyon briefly to the west, winding around and down to reconnect with the old jeep trail.

The Mineral Springs Spur Trail also takes off to the south, winding over to connect with Little Mineral Springs Trail.

Looming immediately above the Spring Cave lies Dark Mesa Peak.

So… a canyon known for all that is happening around it… and not much for what it holds…

…except… that water!

Note: Experience this canyon best in overviews...hike the surrounding ridges!

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 Springs Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    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 Springs Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    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 $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From White Sands Blvd, travel East on Indian Wells Road to its intersection with Scenic Drive. Park in the empty lot on the east side of the intersection. Follow the trail from the northeast corner of the lot, up onto the levee... then follow the levee south to the flattened area on your left. Turn and cross the area... exiting it on the road winding up and out towards the East... follow that road around and up on to the Ridge. The Road is The Little Mineral Springs Trail... the Canyon lies to the left as you work your way up
    page created by imike on Dec 08 2013 9:48 am
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