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Mineral Springs Single Track, NM

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Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 2.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,603 feet
Elevation Gain 1,650 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,690 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.43
Interest Off Trail Hiking
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
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Preferred   Mar, Oct, Nov, Apr → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:52am - 6:01pm
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The Better Way!
by imike

Trail 5579, Mineral Springs Trail as noted by the Forest Service, follows an old jeep route up to the Springs. Beyond and above the Springs you get to enjoy a narrow track looping up and around and over all the Canyon cuts off the Lost Trail Drainage.

Unlike that great upper trail, the lower section is a slog over the often too rocky, rutted jeep road.

You can hike up to the Springs using a variety of the surrounding canyons and connecting spurs…

…or… you can take the time to locate the lower single track developed over the years by area mountain bike riders. This is the same group that developed the track connecting the official Indian Wells Trail cross country over to the Mineral Springs trail.

Unlike the official route which charges straight up the hill in an ugly beeline, the bikers slung and looped and curved and rounded their route back and forth across the ridge. It is a pleasure.

It is much kinder to the feet, too.

It is best to hike this trail from the bottom the first time. In the upper half it crisscrosses the jeep road a number of times; it can be hard to follow until you adjust to how they do their layout. In a few areas where the jeep road is smoother, they route using the road.

From the parking area at the east end of Indian Wells Road, hike east from the obvious trail on the far northeast corner of the lot… as you approach the levee, the trail splits… steeply ahead or more gently to the right. Both carry up to the top of the levee. The first part of the single track heads off from the top of the levee between those two split trail points. Find that point and follow it down and across the ditches, moving east over to the old pipeline roadbed. Turn right and follow that road over to the old jeep road turning to the east (the official Mineral Springs Trail). Follow that road east until you reach the gateway/fence marking the Forest Boundary.

Here begins the adventure!

The single track takes off immediately past the gateway, following the fence line south for awhile before turning east along the ridge.

You will never be very far away from the road/official trail, but the route is a world away in aesthetics. Enjoy.

Once you start crossing and re-crossing the jeep road, be on the lookout for the cairn marking the trailhead for the other single track heading across Mineral Springs Canyon North. It provides yet another exceptional bit of trail to enjoy. That route will carry you over to intersect the Indian Wells Trail.

While this trail has been developed by mountain bike riders and is used by bike riders, most of the route crosses a variety of public and private lands wherein the use of bikes may not be fully sanctioned. Hiking... it's legal in all of the areas!

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.

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

2014-07-16 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 Single Track
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Big midweek turnout for the meetup hike, with a new hiker, so we altered the route... did a selection of ins and out and ups and downs... then, split the group and did a nice exploratory up Lost Trail Canyon N1. It was nice... and, we finally scored a Crinoid that included more than just the trunk section. Been looking for that.

    On top of the project work blended into the last months of the year... just got Jury Duty!! here it is for 90 days!!! I'm on till the end of the year. I'm not certain when I can increase the hiking to get back to a training level... may be after the first of the year??
    Mineral Springs Single Track
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    First day of August's month of GPS tracking...

    Rain and very low cloud cover (within 500' elevation gain hey were below me!)... dead air and muggy. But, all in all a very nice morning. In addition to the trails I planned to cover, I added one new route and another set on the other end of town.

    Secondary goal each day is to hit somewhere around the 4,000'AEG mark... so, do the various tracking hikes then hit the "A" trail for elevation lap to round out that part of the day.

    Or... go hit a route I need a GPS track on; that's what I did today: Alamo Point... Cave Canyon. Pleasant surprise to find a real Trailhead sign down in Alamo Canyon; About time!!

    Home: downloaded GPS Tracks... got them edited on my Map. downloaded 150 pictures; edited and organized with an additional organizational twist that may make it easier to load them to HAZ and Google+ (...Picasa not syncing with Google+ lately...?)

    Have not made it to the odds and ends: Map link edits, Map ridge route edits... Map cropping?

    Also: I need to load pics to HAZ; I'll do that right after I submit a new trail description...

    Then, there is the task of getting the GPS routes on to the HAZ site... nice if I could just finish the Map and send it over all at once!

    One day down... 30 to go?
    Mineral Springs Single Track
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Disrupted morning hike... truck battery dead again! Or, not so dead...? Corroded cables! No Coke at the house, so doused with baking soda and water; started right up.

    Broke my momentum so did easier hike; closing out the month on the downside!

    Have decided to hike daily in August, retracing all of the area routes, one to three a day. Intent: GPS tracks to add to area Map (can I also figure out how to load them over to HAZ?)

    The Map is going together for our local use: 150+ trails right out of Alamogordo. MapSource allowing us to label all the trails, canyons, ridges... along with points of interest... and, using the Waypoint Properties to detail some comments, categorize and most importantly, Link stuff. I'm linking in my photo sets such that for any hike I can click on the map for a mini-slide show... or, click for the full photo set over on Google+... or, click to the HAZ site for the Trail Description and Picture sets there. Plan to also Link to our Meetup and Facebook site to round out the map.

    Local hikers can receive the Map by email... and then add in their own links to their pictures on their computer. The HAZ links should prove the most useful.

    So... 150 tracks to run!
    Mineral Springs Single Track
    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 Springs Single Track
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    First thought was to hit Ortega Peak with a weighted pack to get back on track after missing that yesterday. Second thought was my energy felt low. I opted for the much easier single track up Mineral Springs... with thoughts of going slow and eliminating some of the potential egress routes up to the cliffs. I was thinking less than four hours total for the day.

    At the end of four hours I was far and gone...

    Ten hours seemed to round out the day nicely. Energy never did come up but I just continued to move... very slowly.

    I discovered yet another old trail, this one a Spur route off Beeman Ridge. It looks like an old horse trail with some recent ATV and hiking activity. I still cannot figure why folks place cairns along canyon bottoms and ridge tops... how can you possibly get lost along either route!? Also, may be developing an alternative route up and around The Wall to allow for more hiking and less scrambling to connect the lower with the upper section of the Ridge.

    It was interesting; the point I'd reached at the end of four hours was probably just a bit over a mile from my truck... yet the route I hiked from that point to descend to the truck took three hours before it finally turned to start taking me closer to the vehicle. I was three miles away by that time. But, all of that was fairly easy walking and the final two miles was nearly flat sidewalk. I'm sure it was an easier route and probably faster. The alternative descent would have included 40-50 degree slopes with cliff scrambling. Loose scree... those oh, so careful foot placements that include moments of balance and rebalance... then the searching for the next down step. And then there are those moments wherein balance fails. I think the technical term is falling. I did some of that tracking uphill. Downhill would likely have rounded out an interesting number of those moments. So, the longer, easier, safer... faster return route.

    Wish I'd packed an additional couple of quarts of fluid. Day was saved with the heavy rain clouds rolled in dropping the temps 20 degrees!

    So... low energy... still can move.

    Note: No one spotted the weird, evil alien in the photoset... guess hikers see clouds... on other sites it was spotted by 50+ people....
    Mineral Springs Single Track
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Muggy... just not nice heavy humidity!

    I drove to the trailhead early, then decided to move over to something a bit easier and hopefully more interesting. I headed out n light rain wearing a parka, but immediately had to strip that off... just too oppressive in the dead air. Fortunately, the rain passed. Unfortunately, the dead air held on.

    I walked up to the Indian Wells, then decided to head up Lost Trail Canyon North, with the intent of checking out the North Spur. It had been years since I'd drifted up this cut. I'd never hiked the Spur.

    Very good choice; it was all good. The rock sculpturing was exceptional. The terminal dryfall included a nice staircase of rock to skirt the blockage on the right. The upper canyon held good, eventually giving way to the ridge that directly accessed the upper portion of Mineral Springs Trail.

    Later in the day I paid closer attention to the mountain biker's single track route below the Springs. I discovered a number of new sections; effectively, it provides an alternative to the sucky jeep road that is the official trail. Great find!

    So... I did not score the needed 8,000' AEg to stay on track for the month. I did manage to not just turn around and go home in response to the depressing weather. I scored some great hours out and about.

    Sun finally came out... light breeze teased the edges of comfort now and then.

    I be happy. :)

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    In Alamogordo, Park on the large vacant lot at the far east end of Indian Wells Road, at the intersection of Scenic and Indian Wells. The lower portion of this route crosses a variety of Public lands, and some private acreage... be considerate of the area.
    page created by imike on Jul 16 2014 3:20 pm
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