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Bluff Spring Trail - Lincoln NF, NM

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,130 feet
Elevation Gain 110 feet
Accumulated Gain 110 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 0.57
Interest Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
9  2021-07-08
Bluff Springs
15  2018-07-30
Bluff Springs Waterfall
author avatar Guides 187
Routes 820
Photos 9,657
Trips 652 map ( 5,592 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Jul, Aug, Apr, Oct
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  5:16am - 7:02pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

Scenic Waterfall
by markthurman53

Likely In-Season!

The Sacramento Mountains district of the Lincoln National Forest is located in the Southeast section of New Mexico between the Tularosa Basin to the west and the Pecos River Basin to the East. Cloudcroft is the largest town along Highway 82 at the crest of the mountains. Up between 8 and 9000 feet, this is a perfect summer getaway or an excellent area for winter sports. The forests are composed of Douglas Fir, Ponderosa pine, Aspen, and Oak. There is a wide range of wildlife, including Deer, Elk, and Bear. Cloudcroft is a popular recreational site for many kinds of activities, including camping and hiking. There are over 100 miles of hiking trails within 30 miles of Cloudcroft, many of which are along old logging roads, railroad grades, and existing old trails. Views from the ridges of the Sacramento Mountains over the Tularosa Basin are superb, assuming the weather conditions permit.


Bluff Springs is 3.7 miles in on the Rio Penasco Raod C17. The area called Bluff Springs is just that, an area of many springs coming out of the hillside on the south side along the Rio Penasco. This area has a partially developed picnic area and dispersed camping along with restrooms. Bluff Springs Falls is a 30 to 40-foot falls and is visible from the parking area. Most of the water comes from one spring above the falls, but there are multiple springs along the hillside. Short trails lead to the falls and the spring above the falls.

The Bluff Spring Trail is a short 0.2-mile walk to the spring, supplying almost all the water going over the falls. This trail starts at the parking area and crosses a wood bridge that crosses the Rio Penasco. This trail is a well-manicured trail that has steps climbing up the first 70 foot climb to get on the top side of the falls. Once over the bridge, there is a well-beaten side spur from the main trail that leads to the falls about 100 yards. Above the falls, the trail heads up to a spring that supplies almost all the water going over the falls. As you walk up to this spring, notice that the hillside is just one large spring. On the return trip, take a short 100-foot walk to the area just above the falls, good view of the campgrounds and the Rio Penasco. This is a really short trail, but worth doing; I did it as a side trip on my way to a longer loop hike along Benson Canyon.

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2021-07-24 markthurman53

    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Cloudcroft, take NM130 South 1.9 miles to NM6563 (Sunspot Highway), Turn right go 8.5 miles to the Rio Penasco Road C17, Turn left. 3.7 miles to Bluff Spring.
    page created by markthurman53 on Jul 24 2021 1:57 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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