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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Salado Canyon (#130), NM

no permit
0 2 0
Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
0 of 5 by 0
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,769 feet
Elevation Gain 420 feet
Accumulated Gain 480 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.6
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic, Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Backpack No
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
29  2019-05-23
Bridal Veil Salado Canyon Loop
26  2018-07-31
Bridal Veil Falls Trail T129
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   May, Sep, Oct, Aug → Any
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:51am - 6:02pm
2 Alternative
...Old Railway, New Crossing...
by imike

Likely In-Season!
This lower portion of trail #130 has received a great deal of attention from the New Mexico Rails to Trails Association, but it has mainly been focused on the restoration/recreating of one of the stream crossing trestles, adapted for hiking, horses and bikes. The trail, though shown on MyTopo to wind from well on down the canyon bottom, and on up to connect with the upper portion (Grandview trail), in fact it does neither of those things. Certainly remnants of the old railbed are still there, but one of the major features of the Sacramento Mountains Railroad was trestles... lots and lots of timber beam crossings and drainage culverts, nearly all long gone since the abandonment of the tracks back in 1948. If you attempt to hike down canyon, there will be numerous eroded washouts, and intrusions of now private land. Hiking up the canyon is pretty good, connecting nicely up to a very intimate little waterfall, but then again there is a disconnect requiring some scrambling to continue on up to the upper railbed. It is planned to connect all of these sections, ideally from the base of the mountains all the way up to Cloudcroft... but, for now, plan on making whatever hike you want along this old route.

The Trailhead has limited parking, but the road is wide and sees little use; feel safe parking along any of the wider areas. The trail moves downhill, splitting and circling a small hill, rejoining on the back side, dropping you down to the restored trestle. From there, the established trail goes up canyon, although you can cross the trestle and venture down the drainage for a ways. Moving up canyon you'll hike well above the drainage at first, then eventually, drop down to the creek level. It is worth the effort to make your way up past the old abandoned homestead, and on to the waterfall. If you do not mind the bushwacking/route finding on up the hill, you can combine this hike with the Grandview loop, returning the same way or simply walking the 1.2 miles down the road back to the trailhead.

The mileage hiked in total will be dependent on the routes you choose, as will the total elevation gained. This is a little used trail. It makes for a fun side trip if you are climbing or descending the mountain on your mountain bike... and this smooth gravel road is a popular mountain bike route. As always, you can take note of the extensive efforts given by the local Rails to Trails group... you may want to consider checking in with them and volunteer for one of their monthly trail maintenance days...

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2009-10-07 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 Triplog Reviews
    Salado Canyon (#130)
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    Solado Ridge Loop
    Ross, Mary, Luster and his nephew... exploratory down canyon, then looping up onto the north ridge. Got lucky and found a single track route up to the old jeep road... then, fairly open walking (cattle trails?) on top of the ridge. We eventually topped out and would of had exceptional views... but it was socked in heavy. Did glimpse Calico Peak briefly. This route might be good for a more rounded, diverse loop to that peak with a canyon return...? Need better weather to check that out. Also spotted a few adjacent northern canyons to add to the explore list.

    Exited off the ridge to Salado North... then down to the Bridal Veil Falls trail. Falls nicely frozen! Exited Salado Canyon trail. Snow barely beginning to thaw at the end of the hike... Nice! More snow would have been even nicer!!
    Salado Canyon (#130)
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    first of this new running series... plan is to schedule the double loop each Sunday morning as a training pattern. Mary liked it... and she'd already done her run for the day. I'll stick it on Meetup as both a Beginner hike and a walk/run, weekly. Today we included the road sections... think we'll change that to an our/back on Grandview then a down/up on the Bridal Veil/Solado Canyon trails.

    Salado Canyon (#130)
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    I only hiked a small part of the Salado Canyon Trail. I parked at that trailhead and looped a number of different exploratory loops. First: Box Canyon. Now called Fresnal Canyon and renowned as the only hiway tunnel passage in New Mexico, it probably sees more hikers than any other canyon in the state; daily activity. But... it is only folks parking below the Tunnel then noticing the track leading down the hill to a real waterfall. Water! Off they go.

    My intent is to hike the length of the canyon, but the mouth of the drainage is on posted private property; today was about finding a traverse across National Forest land that would allow me access. I first checked from the top of Steep Hill Road, the west side canyon wall... then I drove around and down into Salado Canyon. I walked down the road and spotted an old gate... got lucky, and scored a trail/path that wound me around and over to the canyon. It was good to find that route; the area was crossed by numerous steep arroyo cuts.

    Once over to the Box, I could see that there was a trail down off Steep Hill; I should be able to find that one now that I know it is there.

    I next hiked up to the high point on the ridge so that I could look down into the mouth of the rock cliffed portion of the canyon... looked rough down in there!

    Got really lucky on my trip back... scored a horse trail that looped high above the arroyos, reducing their crossings to mere dips. That trail split as I got back close to the road... I took the high route up a cut and over to intersect a very interesting old powerline road. It had very developed horse paths. Retracing their routes it became very clear why: Forest Service corrals within a mile!

    Closing the wandering day out...I checked around for an entry to the obvious grade above the railway grade moving through Salado Canyon. Not certain I found it, but doing that it became obvious that I should hike the length of Salado. It has flowing water and an easy to walk railway grade for a goodly bit of the canyon. It also has a few interesting looking Spur Canyons.

    So... not a hard day. I'm not sure I could hold up to a hard day! I hike alot, but I no longer hike in any form of training pattern. That pattern seems to be what generates my better conditioning. Odd. I'll get back to that pattern in September.
    Salado Canyon (#130)
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    this hike was a mix of off trail to Calico Peak... and on trail using the newly reformed Solado Canyon and Bridal Veil Falls trail... both of which need to be updated. The off trail was the really fun section: discovered an old copper mine diggings... and some great sculptured rock formations.
    Salado Canyon (#130)
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    rest day today, doing trail maintenance with the Rails to Trails folk over on the new Bridal Veil Falls loop... official opening next week. Guess I'll have to do a new trail description!

    Interesting argument/discussion regarding my hiking activity... everyone wants to credit me with having some kind of unique genetic advantage, that being the explanation for my capacity for the longer/harder hikes I do. I contend it is all about training and nutrition. I do have an advantage accumulated from decades of ultra-endurance training; I train up faster than many others might, but without training I can not do any of those longer efforts.

    I'd like someone to first put in the training before they argue it is not about the training!

    Concluding the second week of training... up to 20 mile days... target for the season: 65 mile event day. time will tell.
    Salado Canyon (#130)
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    logged in some trails on the way up to the first Wednesday volunteer day at the Senior Center in Cloudcroft... Unchip really excited to discover Bridal Veil falls over in Fresnal Canyon!

    Interesting to note: Salado Canyon: the Rails to Trails Association has completed the trail work up canyon to Bridal Veil Falls, and the work is in play to continue the route on up canyon to connect with Grandview. In addition, the Fresnal Canyon road has been paved all the way up to High Rolls! This will likely mean more traffic on the trails, but it also means bike riders traversing up or down the mountain from Cloudcroft, have a great bypass route, sans cars for the most part, and major time scenic! It cuts off over half of the hiway miles, bringing you into hiway 82 around mile post 8.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From High Rolls on Hiway 82, just east of the convenience store, turn north onto Cherry Blossum, proceeding along this paved road until it reaches the intersection of Cottage Row (County rd 060), turning left and following this paved road half a mile to Fresnal Canyon Rd (FR 162C)(county rd 060). Turn right and follow this road to the well marked trailhead. Check your odometer back at hiway 82... it will be 1.6 miles to the main trailhead for Grandview trail, and 2.8 miles to the Salado Canyon trailhead.
    page created by imike on Oct 07 2009 11:34 am
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