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Cloud-Climbing Trestle Trail #5001, NM

Guide 10 Triplogs  0 Topics
  0 of 5 
no permit
38 10 0
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,684 feet
Elevation Gain 185 feet
Accumulated Gain 335 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 0.75 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.88
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
14  2019-05-22
Cloud Climbing Trestle Loop
13  2018-07-11 markthurman53
6  2016-03-13 AZ_Step
23  2013-07-03
Cloudcroft Area
9  2010-09-04 rwstorm
10  2009-05-05 imike
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   Sep, Aug, Jul, May → 8 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:46am - 6:09pm
Official Route
2 Alternative

Walking the Ghost Line...
by imike

Likely In-Season!
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Page stats reflect #5001 one-way segment. The description below is 2.6 mi / 200 ft / 600 aeg / 1.5 hrs.

The Cloud-Climbing Trestle Trail, including it's destination: the Mexican Canyon Trestle overlook, is the most popular tourist hiking destination in the Cloudcroft area. The Park Service has a picnic grounds, along with bathroom facility ( the guise of a replica of the original Railway Depot) at the trailhead. There are also interpretive hikes and a wheel chair accessible loop at the trailhead. This large parking area is where most everyone begins their trek, but it is possible to simply walk from the Village, accessing the trail system at the intersection of NM130 and Hiway 82. This .4 mile sections makes for a simple uphill walk to the picnic grounds. This is also the trailhead for T5002, which will split to the left in .3 three miles.

The trail begins at the split off with T5002, following the old railway grade around to the right with dramatic vistas of the valley below. Soon it passes through a narrow cut, the Devil's Elbow, access chopped through the rock with mostly hand labor in 1899. The trail next drops down and around the ruins of the 338' long S-Curve Trestle (you may walk down the steep steps that take you closer to the ruins or proceed an the level path... they both take you to the same interpretive display on the far side of the ruins). The trail continues on, at a point departing down off the old rail bed (to avoid crossing private land) and later reclimbing to the grade to end finally at the Mexican Canyon Trestle, the last remaining trestle of the 27 original major trestles between Alamogordo and Cloudcroft.

You will pass T5001C junture at the lowest point of the trail. That trail can be used to connect with T5002 further down the mountain, making for a very nice loop hike back to Cloudcroft.

Whereas the trail began off the offshoot to T5002 up on top of the mountain, most people will choose to instead begin right at the picnic area depot replica, walking down T5001B, .3 miles to where it intersects T5001. This path will include some great overlooks and interesting interpretive displays.

This system of reclaimed trails is the result of much hard work and the diligent efforts of the Rails to Trails organization. You may want to look into volunteering some time in their ongoing efforts. They hold monthly work sessions on these and other area trails.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2009-05-04 imike
    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
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    The entry to the picnic area lies a few hundred feet down Hiway 82 from the intersection of NM130 and Hiway 82. This paved roadway is gated and may be locked during the nights and winter months. The trail may be accessed at all times by parking at the intersection of NM 130 and Hiway 82, behind the barricade... and walking up the obvious trail into the forest.
    page created by imike on May 04 2009 7:27 am
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