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Roundup Ground Trail #107, NM

no permit
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Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
3 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 2.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,879 feet
Elevation Gain 1,106 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,205 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.82
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Oct, Apr → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  5:52am - 6:01pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Deadman's Canyon
by imike

The Roundup Ground is composed of a broad meadow covered mesa offering extended views of the surrounding mountains and ridges, including the tilted Steamboat formation to the southwest. Overlooking Deadman's Canyon steep cliffs on the west side, and the various defiles of Alamo Canyon's lower drainages, this trail loops up and over the mesa winding around ledges and up moderate switchbacks.

The route can be hiked clockwise or counterclockwise, both routes accessed off of T104 (Alamo Canyon Trail). The trailhead can be found .5 miles up the drainage, crossing and exiting out of the dry river bottom and moving sharply up the hill. The trail re-intersects T104 at it's northeast end, 2.6 miles up from the T104 Trailhead.

The trail itself is 2.8 miles long.

The trail markers on both end may be missing. At the lower end, this is not as great a problem; the trail exiting the riverbed is fairly clear. The upper end is not so clear; look for a deep cut dropping into the drainage from the right after T104 begins to narrow. It might be best to first hike the route in a counterclockwise fashion, using the easier to find upper trailhead. If hiking the trail counterclockwise, as you cross the top of the ridge and cross over into the drainage leading back down into Alamo Canyon drainage, stay to the left side of drainage. The trail may fade in and out, but it moves down that side above the bottom of the wash. The tall grass may obscure the bottom sections of the trail as you near T104, but it is not difficult to make your way into the canyon bottom.

Turn left in the river bed (T104)and return down canyon to the point of beginning.

Note: T104 is a river bottom drainage and can amount to a lot of sand slogging, a bit too dull for some folks. It might be better to simply hike to the midway peak of the trail and return back down along the western slope, the way you came, enjoying the views of Deadman's Canyon... and avoid the trail problems and the sand.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2009-05-04 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 of 18 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Roundup Ground Trail #107
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    Easier outing save for the fact of strapping on the 40# weight vest... intent was just to wear it with the pack for the 1.5 mile walk to the trailhead... but, I kept it on for the entire hike! I got worked! Mary and Will along... great weather, even though it was supposed to be raining!
    Roundup Ground Trail #107
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    Last minute posting yielded an exceptional loop! Ross suggested we add in Arch canyon as our access to the Roundup Cliffs... so that got the morning off to a great start. Even with the full frame larger backpack the climbs were all good. Even before we reached the far side of the Roundup Grounds we'd already decided to tag in Picnics for a bit more of a day.

    Mary has only been up into this area once, to see the exceptional P3 lower Dryfall... so we opted to turn up into P1...P2. Instead of the walkup to the top of the Dark Cliffs we opted to go vertical. Mary nailed both climbs! While these are Class 3 and should have safety, with just the three of us it seemed an acceptable risk to take our time... make no mistakes... and enjoy the time savings. Interesting/odd issue to rationalize around those 30 ft falls... simply by thinking we just will not fall!? I would not take a group up those same climbs...? Should we be doing those?

    Once above the Dark Cliffs Mary got to see all three lower falls from the top down! Also, great views up to the mid falls. We hiked her up to the huge overhang in P3... great turn around point for the day... then followed the top of the Dark Cliffs around and back into Alamo Canyon, descending Blind Canyon to confirm it was not our best exit. Alamo Gap looks to be our exit of choice from this point on. We will eventually develop a nice cliff top trail around to that cut... then improve the Pipeline trail on out of Alamo Canyon to eliminate the rougher canyon bottom walking.

    So... T104...Pipeline...T104...Arch Canyon... Roundup Cliffs...T107... T104... Picnics...P1/2...Dark Clifss....P3...Dark Cliffs... Blind Canyon...T104...Pipeline...T104... all together, one great loop. Out for Six hours... caught great cloudcover!

    I'll post the pics in a few days!
    Roundup Ground Trail #107
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    early start... long day. Made our way up the correct canyon this time... and it was nice. the Upper regions did not offer much other than overviews into future routes... and access easily up to the Steamboat formation. We encounter the site of a plan wreck with most of the plane long gone.

    We exited below the Steamboat... down upper Deadman... into middle Dead... and that provided a great descent. We hit the Spur trail over to Roundup Ground trail... and down and out.

    We worked our way at various points around to see 4-6 more routes to check out.. the most dramatic will likely be BlackFace... the canyon immediately north of Black Rock. It appears to be cut off low down with a towering Face of Black rock. We could not see all the crevices... maybe there will be access???

    Steamboat access from the west end is not going to happen... need to loop the south side (Mule Canyon north) to check for routes... but more likely it will be from upper Deadman to the far east saddle.

    Sunny with breezes... 50's... very nice out!!
    Roundup Ground Trail #107
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    13 hikers showed up for this months Progressive Canyon Series... we mixed it up a bit. Ross looped most of the group around and up Arch Canyon; they really loved it! I lead the rest up and around to the Arch via Roundup Cliffs trail. From there, over and down Roundup Grounds trail and into Alamo Canyon... down and around, up into Picnic to lower P3 Falls. From there back over and up P1... and around to upper P3. Group descended along the top of the Dark Cliffs (future trail route?). They were all tired, happy and confused by the end... doubt if most could replicate the route, but it was a great fit into this ongoing Series.

    Adding in the link over to the video:

    ...and the photoset:
    Roundup Ground Trail #107
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    6 hikers out for our first Intermediate level loop... and the potentials for that difficulty hike look promising.

    Interesting note: folks visiting from up north contacted the local forest service office to find out about local hikes they could do while they visited this last week... were told that there were no good hikes to do this time of year in this area! So odd that the locals stay oblivious to the nearly 200 routes to be found down off the mountain! And... this is the best time of year to enjoy these.
    Roundup Ground Trail #107
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    Exploratory to develop traverse/short cut down off of Roundup Cliffs to Dark Cliffs... giving access to Picnic Canyons, The Gap, Blind Cut... Busted Buttress and beyond. Got lucky, found what will likely be the cut... and decided to use Cave canyon for the west end access to the Dark Cliffs. This new routing provides some exceptional looping... now, just have to do the work!
    Roundup Ground Trail #107
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    Terri and two new hikers (visiting for the next few months) along on an easy connecting loop to loosen up after jury duty trial. I'm back in the pool on Monday... and the pattern repeats for the next two months... hard to believe they make you serve for 3 months! Hiking not an emphasis for the rest of the year! I guess maybe start training again in January...?
    Roundup Ground Trail #107
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    A great loop... and then some packless wandering...

    Rounding the Roundup… this loop may well be the best trail hike in the Alamo area.

    Starting off from the Alamo Canyon trailhead, the half mile walk along t104 is all old road… and just at the point where that trail turns into slogging up the canyon bottom, instead a short cut over to start up the newly signed Roundup Canyon Trail (t107). Newly signed, yet never maintained… it is rough! Today, We only use it to ascend to the top of the cliffed bench winding around the west, north and south sides of the Roundup Grounds Plateau. Once up, we soon take off across the broad meadow, walking the short track easterly or striking out along the cliff edges for better views.

    The Roundup Grounds Trail stayed with the cliff edges ranging along Deadman Canyon, proceeding counter clockwise; we follow clockwise ranging over Alamo Canyon.

    Great views to the south of RockSprings Canyon and RockSprings ridge; best route to make your way up to the Lady. You can easily spot the mistake of trying to hike down and off the ridge: cliffs out!

    Crossing the meadow area you look north to see the features along Alamo Ridge: Alamo Point, Busted Buttress, Side Canyon and finally, The Gap. The Gap really is far enough along to be a feature off of The Mesa, and Gap Canyon affords the potential to access the Mesa from Alamo Canyon.

    The far side of the meadow and the trail moves into Arch Canyon with a great dryfall to extend the first break of the day. For our beginner’s hikes this is often our turnaround point. Nap on the bedrock slabs or go play in the namesake Arch.

    Though from this point on the trail clings close to the top of the cliffs, you are not really aware of that feature. The views are too distracting; the walking is easy; the vistas too inviting. It’s difficult not to reflect on hiking one of the canyons or ridges that constantly turn into view as you work your way around the bends.

    The canyon past the Gap, also rising up to meet the Mesa, fails to allow reasonable egress. That adventure will be up and back down… or will have to include a high traverse around to the Gap… or east over into the next drainage: the Picnic Canyons.

    More often than not, the Picnics are hiked for the great lower Dryfall formations in the bisecting bottom cuts; they are impressive. Venture beyond and above either of those falls and you will be earning your way. The Picnics include six upper drainages… all extremely challenging.

    As the cliffs trails makes the sharp bend to the south, Caballero Canyon splits off to the east. You can look across and spot the trail… and look beyond and catch glimpses of Hershberger Canyon, the south door to Hershberger Peak.

    Dividing Caballero Canyon and Alamo Canyon: Aquaduct Ridge. The City pipeline comes pouring over the cliffs opposite the Roundup Cliffs trail that we are hiking. That used to be our exit route… grab hold and cling for a very steep descent. Now, we hike the easy trail down Pipe Springs Canyon; it comes into view as we hike the close cliff edges of the last section before intersecting T107 near its upper trailhead.

    Before we drop down to T107 there are views up Alamo Canyon and perspective views on Purgatory Canyon and Purgatory Ridge. If you know what you are looking at you can also see Alamo Peak and Purgatory Peak in the far distance.

    Turning up T107 we soon spot the split where Roundup Trail Canyon departs from the main Roundup Canyon. The primary canyon rises up to splay out below Long Ridge. Looking back we can see the upper T107 Trailhead down in Alamo Canyon… just across from Pipe Springs Canyon. At the old metal trough the trail takes off around out of that canyon to rejoin and cross it higher up… a cattle path used to access the water above and below. It really is a piped spring; the ranchers have tapped into the city water line ! The lower trough is filled by an abs line on the surface… makes it easy to follow the path when exiting or entering the canyon.

    T107 is not hard on the east side… and generally flat as it crosses the upper saddle. It winds down gently next to one of the Deadman Canyon cuts to start out. In fact, you can effect an off trail traverse from all the easterly branches of upper Deadman over to T107 for a simple exit.

    Unfortunately, decades without maintenance have made the west side descent on the trail not as nice. It is steep. It is rough. It does afford great vista views: Upper Deadman… Upper RockSpring… The Hole in the Wall… Steamboat… The Lady. All Nice.

    Once down near the lower cliff tops note the final carsonite sign. It marks the intersection for the Spur trail over into Deadman Canyon; very handy route.

    As we pass our initial point of departure for the Roundup Cliffs loop and wind down the final section of T107, the entry dryfall at the mouth of RockSprings Canyon stands out… very inviting bit of terraced slabs.

    I’ve hiked these routes dozens of times. I typically move at a brisk pace. I look at what surrounds me, but rarely do I really see to the extent of taking everything in… I find that the benefit of my recent knee injury has gifted me with a slower, more absorptive pace. I see more.

    My list of exploratory hikes right in the areas I’ve been hiking for years grows with each outing!

    Of course maybe I’m not so slow…

    I noted when I hit the far end of T107 I’d averaged around 1.6 mph. Before I’d reached the saddle my average had jumped up to 6.8 mph! I’d scored the increase all on the uphill! …and, in less than half a mile! 3.5 hours out with an average pace of 6.8 mph… Wow!

    Damn GPS.

    It did make me reflect back on being a trail runner and really averaging 7 mph over legs of the relay races I used to run, Hood to Coast being my favorite. Was not all that long ago… 1998?

    On this day, in this time… I walk. I see.

    Another great day out… and, if someone would log a few hours cleaning up T107, this would be the best trail loop in the area.
    Roundup Ground Trail #107
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    First of the longer, progressive Saturday training hikes over and done!

    Though posted on the Calendar, this is not one of the hikes I really want anyone to show up for. If they are in shape and trained up I am probably going at a too slow pace to be of much benefit to them. If they are not trained up enough to be ready for this level of effort it will not turn out well for anyone.

    I noticed that today I hit the peak well before the time typical with other hikers along... and I'd altered the route early in the day to add on extra AEG before the push to the peak. So, over an hour early and with an extra 1200'+ already scored.

    I had rushed the prep for the hike. I did not pack any food. I decanted a gallon of non-fat chocolate milk, a quart of vitamin water and 16 oz 80 calorie energy drink. I was guessing at an 11 hour effort with 200 calorie an hour intake to catalyze fat metabolism... sort of a plan.

    Not exactly an early start, but with the longer days I felt okay with that. I hit the trail at 6:38am. Around 7:30 I popped open the Energy drink to break fast (a couple hours early for me!)

    Slow pace... lower energy.

    I noticed that once I'd begun drinking I was tending towards a fairly steady intake; I refilled one of the Quart containers at the high spring below the peak.

    Early to the peak I wandered off trail and found a place in the sun and out of most of the wind (high gusts today! 40 mph!) I realized I needed to slow my pace; get into a more casual mindset for the day, so I dug to the bottom of the pack and pulled out a MRE and a bottle of spicy peanuts. I took the time to enjoy the food pack (... the 1200 calories were likely not a bad idea, either. That and the 500+ calories from the peanuts likely made sense on this longer/harder day.)

    I decided to loop longer, kicking off this series with 25 miles and 7000'. The next effort will go to 30 miles with at least as much AEG. The time and mileage is the emphasis for the coming months; every other Saturday.

    Fluids did run out. I also was worrying about potassium intake (... brain dead! forgot the milk would score over 6,000! I cramp up in the evening after the hike if fluid/potassium intakes have been too low).

    So, home sucking down an additional half gallon of vitamin water... listening to the wind howl.

    A good day!

    Odd to reflect on the perspective of being "in shape". I feel i have a long way to go to reach that condition. I'm still 20 pounds away from hitting event weight. All my training is at a too slow pace. I'm probably two months away from being able to do a fifty mile day with any ease. At age 50 I went out without training and did 53 miles in 11 hours and 20 minutes. That day included 8,000' AEG. At age 60 I managed a 50 mile day with 19,000' either of those standards I am not yet back in good shape. Then again... by most everyone else's standard, for age 65 I should be more than happy with what I've can do. So Odd.

    Good Pictures today... new computer on the way... finally might be able to catch up with the editing and posting?
    Roundup Ground Trail #107
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    Sunday Beginners Hike
    Slow, easy pace over to Arch Canyon... Hannah, DJ and son, Paul, Linda (new face), Gene, Russ, Terri... snow showing above 8,000'... clouds threatening rain, but it all blew right on by.

    Nice outing...

    Odd day in that I've only eaten x4 pieces of string cheese and three no calorie energy drinks... and 8 oz of orange juice. Pace has been slow all day, but I did log an hour of trail work swinging a pickax this morning in addition to the four hours of hiking! Coming off the big day yesterday I would have thought I'd need real food today.

    Tomorrow: off trail... hyper steep ridge route up to Hershberger Peak... then on to Ortega Peak. I'll likely fall short of the 5,000' goal, but the long, slow hours will likely eat up the day. Oh, well... better head home and eat!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    The hike is reached by connecting .5 miles up the Alamo Canyon Trail (T104). To reach the trailhead for T104, drive to the far south end of Scenic Drive (wide, 4 lane drive on west side of town) continuing up and around the left side of a large, fenced water tank, on to Alamo Canyon Road. Follow this road to its end next to the Alamo Canyon Water filter plant. Park outside the fenced area and walk along the right side of the plant, through the metal gates beyond. follow the trail, eventually dropping into the dry riverbed. T107 begins in approximately one half mile, crossing up and out the far side (right) of the dry bed.
    page created by imike on May 04 2009 3:51 pm
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