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South Baldy Trail #11 - Magdalena Mountains, NM

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Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southwest
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,532 feet
Elevation Gain 3,269 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 25.35
Interest Peak
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
35  2014-05-21 dieanotherday15
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Preferred   Jul, Jun, Aug, Sep → 10 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:37am - 5:08pm
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Water
Nearby Area Water
Copper Canyon / South Baldy Loop
1.4 mi away
11.0 mi
3,600 ft
Timber Peak Trail
1.8 mi away
6.0 mi
1,200 ft
Magdalena Crest Trail to North Baldy
3.9 mi away
11.0 mi
1,800 ft
Magdalena Mountains - GET #31
Magdalena Mountains - GET #31
6.9 mi away
23.3 mi
San Lorenzo Canyon - GET #32
San Lorenzo Canyon - GET #32
9.7 mi away
28.2 mi
Mount Withington
16.1 mi away
14.0 mi
3,399 ft
Milligan Gulch - GET #30
Milligan Gulch - GET #30
16.4 mi away
16.3 mi
Chupadera Wilderness Trail
19.1 mi away
4.8 mi
1,810 ft
Potato Canyon
19.2 mi away
7.0 mi
Sevilleta Trace - GET #33
20.2 mi away
44.3 mi
[ View More! ]
Enjoy the beautiful views!
by dieanotherday15

At 10,789 feet, South Baldy is the highest point in the Madalena mountains to the southwest of Albuquerque and west of Socorro (about 100 feet higher than Sandia Crest near Albuquerque and higher than most peaks in Arizona). There are several descriptions online of hikes on the lower parts of the mountain, but no summit description to the best of my knowledge for this relatively remote, but beautiful mountain range. This route takes you up the most car-friendly, shortest route to the top, packing spectacular views and a good cardio workout. Near the summit, there is an observatory if that strikes your interest, though it's not open for viewing.


After arriving at the South Baldy Trailhead, take the trail up the hill and prepare for a somewhat steep climb through pine forest for about a mile or so. Then you'll start ascending along what looks like a burned ridge before returning to the forest. The views get progressively better as you go up, though the trail narrows at points to little more than a foot or two wide. Watch your footing, especially coming down these steep slopes. At 2.9 miles, you will reach the end of the trail.

From the end of the South Baldy trail at the upper trailhead, follow the dirt road another 1 mile. As you progress up the road, views become more and more spectacular until you reach the gate for the observatory. There are no restrictions on foot traffic, so continue past the gate for about .25 mi and turn right on the dirt road away from the observatory toward the peak. After about another .25 miles, you will reach the summit. Enjoy the beautiful views from the top and then turn around and come back the way you came.

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Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

dieanotherday15
    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 $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Albuquerque, take the I25 south toward at Socorro. Take exit 150 for and take the US 60 W for about 17 miles and turn left on Water Canyon Rd (Forest Road 235). Follow Water Canyon Rd for 5 miles until you reach Water Canyon Campground. Here the paved road ends and dirt road begins. From there, go left to continue on FR 235 another 1.6 miles until you reach the pullout for Trail #11 South Baldy Trail. There's room for 4 cars there. Signs at Water Canyon Campground will say that this part of the road is inappropriate for cars, but if you go slow, the road will be fine.
    page created by dieanotherday15 on May 22 2014 3:33 pm
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