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A Trail - Connections, NM

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Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,551 feet
Elevation Gain 2,900 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,010 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.05
Interest Peak
Backpack Yes & 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
Co-Author tarryon
co-author avatarGuides 1
Routes 0
Photos 4
Trips 158 map (746 Miles)
Age 60 Female Gender
Location nm
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, Mar, Nov → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:51am - 6:02pm
0 Alternative
Connect This!
by imike & tarryon

As one of the few formal Forest Service Trails in the Alamogordo area, T119 (A Trail), receives the most daily use of any other route. Most folks walk up a ways, turn around and walk back down. The 900’ per mile grade gives a great bit of work out.

As the surrounding ridges and canyons have come more into play as great hiking routes, the A has become more and more popular as both a connecting and exit trail. Below is a list of most of the popular connections.

The mileages and elevations are based on a single day GPS reading.

Trailhead: 4551’

1. Short Canyon -R- .10 (4665’)
2. Short Canyon Trail -R- .20 (4715’)
3. OutCrop Ledges -L-.25 (4743’)
4. "A" Slabs.52 (4971’)
5. "A" Canyons -L-.62 (5054’) **
6. Rock Garden -L-.74 (5126’)
7. Short Canyon Upper -R-.87 (5182’)
8. One Mile Tree -L-1.00 (5215’)
9. Sotol Canyon -R-1.03 (5270’)
10. "A" Cut Rocks -L- 1.31 (5486’)
11. Dead Tree Seat -L- 1.46 (5627’)
12. Deep Cut Bench -R- 1.53 (5718’)
13. Ocotillo Ledge 1.57 (5750’)
14. Quarry Canyon -R- 1.57 (5750’) Gold Mine
15. Marble Bluff -R- (5890’)
16. Thor’s Hammer -R- (5890’)
17. Two Mile Bench -R- 2.0 (6304’)
18. The Bluff -L-2.0 (6304’)
19. Michal’ Traverse -L-2.0 (6304’) ***
20. Leah’s Lair -R- 2.20 (6500’) Fissure
21. Marble Cny N1 -R- 2.26 (6550’)
22. History Rock2.36 (6620’)
23. The Catwalk 2.48 (6709’)
24. Marble Ridge 1 -R- 2.50 (6717’)
25. Marble Cny N2 -R- 2.61 (6760’)
26. Marble Ridge 2 -R- 2.75 (6902’) ****
27. Marble Cny N4 -R- 3.01 (7127’)
28. Water Tank -R- 3.05 (7160’)***** Ridge
29. Dry Cny Traverse--
30. Horse Ridge--
31. Marble Cny N8 -R- 3.10 (7200’)
32. Ortega Peak -L- 3.30 (7298’)
33. Miner Ridge -L- 3.39 (7300’)
34. "A" Peak -L-3.63 (7367’)
35. Marble Ridge 4 -R-
36. Marble Canyon North -R-3.96 (7348’)
37. Hershberger Peak 4.50 (7409’)
38. Hell Hole Canyon 4.55 (7425’)
39. Hell Hole Trail -R-4.82 (7282’)
40. Devil’s Backbone
41. Caballero Canyon
42. Dry Canyon Trail
43. Upper Trailhead 119 5.00
44. West Side Road Connection less than one half mile up old trailway...

These connecting features, and a number of others, allow for a broad diversity of interesting day hikes. The A Trail supports connecting routes for all of the Marble Canyon Drainage area, the Ortega Canyons and Ridges, the Lost Trail Canyons and Ridges… and any of the Basin loops. It provides an easier exit down off of West Side Road with the variety of higher forest trails.

It is our main hiking artery here in the Alamogordo Area

** The A Canyons include Terri’s Cut, Jim’s Cut, A Cut and A Canyon North

*** Michal’s Traverse provides a connecting route over the top of Terri’s Cut, to Jim’s Cut, across to Ortega Canyon South, to Yubao’s Cut and beyond.

**** The Ridge flowing off to the south and west behind the water tank borders a variety of Marble Canyon North Spur Canyons ( north / south ), including the Ortega Cut N8, Slide Canyon N7, N6, Cactus Cliffs Cut N5, and Slab Canyon N4.

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

2014-01-16 imike & tarryon
    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
    A Trail - Connections
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Cool breeze made for a great hike. Up into the Quarry, shooting pics of the older initials carved into the marble walls. I liked the 15 year old who in 1933 climbed to a precarious shelf to register. There are higher marks, but likely scored using modern climbing gear. There are bolted routes in a variety of the clefts/faces.

    I worked some more on routing to Marble Bluffs... got really lucky today; scored an optimum track... and lucky again routing on up to the old Gold mine.

    GPS tracks on all that, then descended to track routes on both Traverses out of Terri's Cut.

    Second day for my OJ to have a tangy, bubbly augment... early stage fermentation! Maybe that was why the hike went so well?

    Odd guy camped out down below the "A"... carts and all. I was planning on doing low laps... decided to range higher to delay interaction. Day without crazy seemed better.

    Rains have scoured the "A" trail... confirms my earlier idea: I will reroute the trail over to better views and easier to maintain tracks... which will have the additional benefit of not being open to bikes, ATV or motorbike traffic. They can continue to destroy the traditional route.

    At 740,000' for the year: AEG. Couple weeks left this month: 40-60,000'? Might get close to the 800,000' by the end of the month, or not. I'm looking forward to switching to a four day hiking schedule in September... 60,000' per month for the last four months of the year.

    This summer of hiking down out of the cool has worked. I may go back to summer hiking in the higher reaches, but this was not bad.
    A Trail - Connections
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Terri's Wednesday progressive training hikes are over with for a few months... so today was all about fun. Hiked a bit of laps early, waiting for enough light to allow us a lower entry approach into Terri's Cut... then down hiked to the lip of the big lower falls... then up canyon to the fun play falls for a bit of climbing practice. Froze my hands!

    Traversed out... down the "A"... met up with Bill and Paul... then headed down and into "A" Cut to downclimb that lower dryfall. Adrenalin overflow from the earlier climb had me opt for an easier scramble slot to the bottom today. It looks doable but not for today.

    Checked out the bottom of Terri's Cut then looped around into "A" Canyon North, the exploratory for today. Okay, but with some many great cuts around here it will be many years before I repeat on it. Fortunately, the surrounding "A" ridges were exceptional... and the top formation, "A" Bluffs offered up some fun cave crawling.

    Met a hiker from Dallas who was familiar with the area (he grew up here) and directed him over and up Marble Canyon. He thought it was not climbable... interesting if we ever hear from him again (He's backpacking, camped up on Ortega Peak).

    Just a fun play day! I think we may pattern the Wednesday outings along that line, at least until it is time to put Terri back on a progressive pattern to take her up to the 10,000' day for her B'day in August (another fun 90 pattern!)

    So... closing out a fairly easy month... trading it for a not so easy February?

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    In Alamogordo, NM, Follow 10th Street East to it's end at the City Fire Station... turn left and drive down to the small bridged wash a bit over one tenth mile. That gully, marked with a carbonite trail sign, is the beginning of the -A- Trail
    page created by imike on Jan 16 2014 11:41 am
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