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Goat Springs via The Mesa, NM

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Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 13 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,343 feet
Elevation Gain 507 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,600 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 7-9 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 31
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
60  2014-08-12
Mesa Cliffs Loop
imike
16  2010-03-27
Marble Canyon - South
imike
38  2010-03-13
Marble Canyon - South
imike
20  2010-02-20
Marble Canyon - South - North Spur
imike
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → 6 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:55am - 4:57pm
Route
 
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Water
Nearby Area Water
Upper Dry Canyon Trail #5573
0.1 mi away
2.6 mi
642 ft
A Trail #119
A Trail #119
0.3 mi away
4.8 mi
251 ft
Hells Hole Trail #219
Hells Hole Trail #219
0.3 mi away
0.5 mi
7 ft
Upper Dry Canyon Alternate Trail #5574A
0.6 mi away
1.3 mi
93 ft
Caballero Canyon Upper Drainage
1.1 mi away
1.7 mi
2,111 ft
Caballero Upper Canyon Traverse
Caballero Upper Canyon Traverse
1.5 mi away
1.5 mi
1,300 ft
Hells Hole Canyon
1.5 mi away
1.5 mi
1,400 ft
Arcente Canyon
1.6 mi away
1.4 mi
1,000 ft
Stark Peak
Stark Peak
1.7 mi away
1.1 mi
145 ft
Caballero Canyon Trail #103
Caballero Canyon Trail #103
1.7 mi away
4.2 mi
15 ft
[ View More! ]
Mesa Madness...
by imike

Traditionally, the route to Goat Springs began down in Alamogordo, crossing private land at the opening to the canyon. In recent years the owner has closed off the access, due to vandalism and abuse. The alternative approach is now from above, hiking up and around Hershberger Peak, then dropping down the mountain into the area known as The Mesa. From there, the upper end of the traditional route may be accessed for the descent down to Goat Springs. This requires nearly all off trail trekking, and a goodly bit of searching to find the trail access from the Mesa onto the old Goat Springs trail. The Canyon below the Mesa is a narrow, dry waterfall defile, and the very narrow path dropping from the Mesa can reach grades in the 60% range. Move very carefully down along this difficult trail section. The hike is worth the effort; both the Mesa and the Goat Spring Gorge are exceptional areas to visit. Adding in the potential to include a climb up Hershberger Peak, the highest point in the frontal range, and the day is fully rounded out.

It would be a better than good idea to take along both map and possibly GPS coordinates to help locate the exact access point for the descent off the Mesa. Attempting to work your way down into the canyon at the wrong point might not be wise.


If you do attempt to enter or exit the Canyon from the lower access, be aware that the trail poses a severe potential for injury from slipping and falling on the loose gravel surfaces, possibly entering into a long and potentially fatal fall. Take due care if attempting those lower levels.

It is best to respect the wishes of the private property owner and request permission for access prior to trespassing on their property.

From the upper trailhead, follow T119 first down then winding back uphill drawing ever closer to Hershberger Peak. Around mile 1.3 exit the trail to the left and work your way up and around the Peak, emerging on the far west side. Work your way downhill to the west, entering the broad, tilted expanse known as the Mesa. The cut down to goat springs lies far out on the northwestern edge of the cliffs. Depending on your route, the distance to the cliff edges dropping down to the Springs may be around 6-7 miles.

The mileage on down from the Cliff edges to the city below is a bit over 2 miles.

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 $$
    None


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

    To hike
    From HighRolls on Hiway 82, follow FR90 (Westside Road) 6.9 miles approaching a wide turn to the left. Turn right onto an unsigned, rough road heading west. About 70 feet down the road turn right again (signed T119). Within one tenth of a mile the Trailhead for T119 is at the barricaded primitive road.
    page created by imike on May 05 2009 12:03 pm
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