Trail 103 accesses off of Westside Rd, the main artery for ATV activity in the midlevel of the Sacramento Mountains. Plan on seeing a number of these four wheel adventures out and about on any given weekend. Fortunately, only the upper portion of this trail provides access for ATVs. The lower section moves through the drainage and blocks out all vehicles. Shortly after taking off from FR 90 (Westside Road) T103 makes a sharp right and continues steadily downhill thru scrub pine and juniper following a rough and rocky old jeep trail. This section affords great distant views of Hershberger Peak across the canyon... the highest point in the frontal range.
The trail opens into a broad grassy meadow and the trail appears to end, but follow the upper edge of the meadow around to the right and you will pick up the track as it exits the meadow on the north end. The missing section is really simply heavily obscured with deadfall.
The trail drops down to the canyon bottom, joining and intermittent and seasonal creek. You may follow the creekbed on down canyon, or better, follow the faint trail up a slight incline, rejoining the stream in about 1/2 mile. The trail will soon give way to rocky streambed, and the rest of the hike consists of working your way down the rough and rocky drainage. Just over 3 miles down canyon the trail does leave the creekbed on the left to traverse a dry waterfall, but it is also possible to work your way down and through that obstacle.
T103 ends with it's intersection with Alamo Canyon Trail (T104) at the juncture of that major drainage. You have the option of looping back up T104 to Westside Rd, or continuing down T104 to it's trailhead down in Alamogordo (2.1 miles down drainage)... or, completing the hike by hiking back up canyon on T103.
You also have the very demanding option of hiking up the ridge to the south, connecting with the Pipeline Maintenance Trail on top of the ridge. The logical place to complete that connection is back up canyon in the area where the trail dropped into the rocky drainage. There is an old pipeline and the remnants of an access road, impossibly steep, that may be sighted and followed to the top.
Check out the Official Route.
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.
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