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Michal's Traverse, NM

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  4 of 5 
no permit
0 1 0
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 1.19 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,347 feet
Accumulated Gain 360 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.39
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Seasonal Waterfall
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 71 Male Gender
Location Cloudcroft, NM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:13am - 7:07pm
0 Alternative

It Gets You There!
by imike

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The Ortega-Dry Canyon Traverse provides a great connecting route for the variety of canyons and ridges flowing down the West side from Ortega Peak, but it requires that you make your way all the way up and beyond the 7,000' level. The upper end of some of the canyons lack appeal, and you might not want to climb that high.

Michal's Traverse provides a great alternative.

Departing the "A" Trail just above the "A" Trail Bluffs, this off trail route connects with an interesting variety of those Western hikes. Terri's Cut lies just below the Bluffs; loop down and around from either side of that prominent rock feature.

In fact, the Bluffs are the first connection; the very short walk over allows for access to the variety of hidden caves.

Looping above and beyond the Bluffs, you immediately descend into Jim's Cut. Less than .2 mile from the "A" Trail, this spur canyon will give you access down into Ortega Canyon South, below the lower dryfall.

Proceeding across and out of Jim's Cut, and around the ridgeline to the north, you will next angle down into the middle section of Ortega Canyon South, crossing the canyon bottom just above the middle dryfall formation. Most often you will be ascending out of the bottom, using the Traverse to move south back to the "A" Trail, around .4 miles away.

From the top of the dryfall, you angle up and to the West, targeting Ortega Ridge South. You will note an open Rift above you; that is not your goal. Angle lower to do a simple loop below the obvious cliff line on the upper portions of the Ridge... unless your intent is to head up to Ortega peak. The lower angle will wind you up, around and then down into the nicer section of Yubao's Cut (Staircase Canyon). Reaching Staircase you will be about one mile across the Traverse and have the option of using the canyon connection to connect with the lower portions of Ortega Canyon North, or you may proceed up and around to connect with that same canyon above the towering Dryfall Formation mid canyon. There is a safe scramble through the cliffs on the far north end of the Traverse... 1.2 miles from the "A" Trail.

The variety of connecting loops possible, and the short cut potentials for exiting the canyons make this Traverse one of the more popular routes in the area. It is slowly being transformed into a real trail!

Go find it!

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2014-02-25 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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To hike
    From the "A" Trail (t119), hike up to the prominent rock Bluffs on your left, over two miles and nearly 2,000' above the trailhead. Look for the rock cairn on your left... your goal: cross over to the Bluff formation and walk around the east side. Jim's Cut: watch for the Bluffs. Ortega South: top of Second Dryfall above the middle canyon. Ortega Ridge South: below the Rift. Ortega North: above the monster Dryfall.
    page created by imike on Feb 25 2014 1:13 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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