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Little Mineral Springs Trail, NM

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18 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 2.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,596 feet
Elevation Gain 1,500 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,650 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8
Interest Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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
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Preferred   Mar, Oct, Nov, Apr → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:51am - 6:02pm
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Named place Nearby
Might as Well Do It...
by imike

Alamogordo is adjacent to numerous hiking opportunities, but if you are looking for a very local hike, the pickin's are a bit slim. "A" Trail (119) is a bit too steep for many folks. Alamo Canyon is the opposite, just flat hiking for miles up the canyon bottom. To split the difference without committing to a lot of driving, Mineral Springs trail provides a nice alternative. If you are in town for a few days, then yes, You might as well do it...


It starts out on a marked trail (#5579) but you need to have a bit of an idea of just where you are headed; these first miles are crosscut with numerous old routes that are the play areas of local ATV. Quite simply, stay on top the levee moving back to the south until it intersects a large wallow, then connect with the old roadway heading east on up into the foothills. You will know you are on the right route when you pass close to the dry wash, on your left, deeply cut and accented with a nice waterfall, colored with bright graffiti. That's the local party spot. The trail moves nicely uphill from there at a gentle slope until it intersects the drainage on your right, at which point you'll angle to your left and begin to climb more steeply.

The next mile is the nicer part of the hike... you move up and around and if you take the time to venture a bit off trail the canyon on your right provides some distracting scenery. The trail terminates around the 2.5 mile point, dropping a bit down into that canyon drainage. Any progress from there would be off trail, and prickly.

The total elevation gain makes for a nice workout and there will be constant city scenes as you make the climb. Since you're there, you might as well check out the Space Museum which is directly adjacent to this trailhead, to the north.

Fun in Alamogordo!

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2010-02-11 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
    Little Mineral Springs Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Big midweek turnout for the meetup hike, with a new hiker, so we altered the route... did a selection of ins and out and ups and downs... then, split the group and did a nice exploratory up Lost Trail Canyon N1. It was nice... and, we finally scored a Crinoid that included more than just the trunk section. Been looking for that.

    On top of the project work blended into the last months of the year... just got Jury Duty!! here it is for 90 days!!! I'm on till the end of the year. I'm not certain when I can increase the hiking to get back to a training level... may be after the first of the year??
    Little Mineral Springs Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Will and Ross out for exercise... we redirected our efforts up into the Lost Trail drainage... rains making the pooling in Ortega Canyons too much? We closed out up to Lost Trail using a north spur... lead up to a very nice dryfall formation with interesting strata... descended Lost Trail... then around on the road/trails.
    Little Mineral Springs Trail
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    First day of August's month of GPS tracking...

    Rain and very low cloud cover (within 500' elevation gain hey were below me!)... dead air and muggy. But, all in all a very nice morning. In addition to the trails I planned to cover, I added one new route and another set on the other end of town.

    Secondary goal each day is to hit somewhere around the 4,000'AEG mark... so, do the various tracking hikes then hit the "A" trail for elevation lap to round out that part of the day.

    Or... go hit a route I need a GPS track on; that's what I did today: Alamo Point... Cave Canyon. Pleasant surprise to find a real Trailhead sign down in Alamo Canyon; About time!!

    Home: downloaded GPS Tracks... got them edited on my Map. downloaded 150 pictures; edited and organized with an additional organizational twist that may make it easier to load them to HAZ and Google+ (...Picasa not syncing with Google+ lately...?)

    Have not made it to the odds and ends: Map link edits, Map ridge route edits... Map cropping?

    Also: I need to load pics to HAZ; I'll do that right after I submit a new trail description...

    Then, there is the task of getting the GPS routes on to the HAZ site... nice if I could just finish the Map and send it over all at once!

    One day down... 30 to go?
    Little Mineral Springs Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Ross showed for the 5:40am start... routed around to catch areas he had not hiked... diverted by wild dog pack with overly yappy little dog... checked out upper end of Mineral Springs Canyon looking for artifacts; none found. Dead air day, yet again. Energy off after yesterday's bigger effort.
    Little Mineral Springs Trail
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    I forget What a great hike this loop is! Every time I introduce new hikers to this route they affirm the quality and variety. The Springs, Indian Wells, meadows, rocks, vistas... and the not too hard, not too easy nature of the loop. This was a great Friday group hike. Of course, Terri's Friday hikers were all off on a different hike, but that was nice too. It would be great if the calendar could fill in with lots of choices for everyone.

    Finished after 11am for that first hit, started to do laps on the "A", but that was not inspiring. I moved over to the more difficult Cave Canyon and that did the trick. I quit a little short of the 5,000' goal but my focus is drifting ahead to April... I may fall a little short of the 150,000' goal this month as I get ready to try for the bigger month about to start.

    The game/cattle trail up the ridge on the west side of Cave Canyon could be improved into a great training route up to Alamo Point (high north side over the mouth of Alamo Canyon). That would also give us a good path up to the Cave... and the connecting short loop around from Pock Rock up through Ross's Cut. That needs to happen!

    Very good day out!
    Little Mineral Springs Trail
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    I needed an easier day.

    Awake last night on the half hour… and that was after 2:30am when I first managed to drift off… but, out of bed before 6:30am… over to and on the trail before 7am. I thought I’d re-loop last weeks hike and snap some defining photos.

    Then, that odd impulse to head off to where I have not yet been… or not been in a long time, so I dropped into Dark Mesa Canyon and started enjoying that bit of off trail up to the “real” Mineral Springs Trail (the part that is no longer a Jeep route). From there I did cut across and over to the Spur Trail for the pictures.

    It looked as if the mountain bikers had been coming down Little Mineral Springs… made me wonder about a connecting spur from the top of that trail. So, up then off trail once again… rough route, but sort of nice. Not for bikes, but some potential for an upper looping connection to Mineral Springs above Dark Mesa Peak.

    I got pics of the peak and the mesa, as planned… and oriented the full length of the Mineral Springs Canyon drainage below the cave (…the spring fills and flows out of a cave that has been dug back into the hill). I’d never realized that that drainage splits the Basin, not flowing into the Lost Trail nor the drainages north of Dark Mesa. Interesting.

    I re-positioned an old forest service trail marker ½ mile over to the correct trail… it was the carbonite marker that once was bedded down near Indian Wells, where everyone parks. It had disappeared years ago… then earlier this year found it’s way half way up Little Mineral Springs trail. T5579... Mineral Springs Trail. I moved it higher up the route; ideally less prone to vandalism?

    Lots of pics to edit… then I need to hit a Hotspot for the upload to HAZ.

    Slow pace… cooler temps, and once it turned hot (sweat dripping off my arms and hands!) the soaked cotton T-shirt combined with a pleasant breeze to make it all just right.

    Thunderstorms predicted for later today… Fire Danger high… but, they have yet to close the Forest. Gotta like that!
    Little Mineral Springs Trail
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    ...early start, headed up and over to Dry Canyon, but on the way... both some energy issues and the thought of doing the dull, open Dry. And, I was staring up and over at the Dark Mesa, upper and lower. That had appeal. I made the looping turn to carry me over to access that ridge.

    It was a very nice hike... cacti blooming... shadows on cliffs... much like walking in and through a private desert park.

    I was surprised to find that the upper Mesa was really just a peak. Though surrounded by dark cliffs, it lacked the substance I was expecting to be the upper Mesa... and, it had a use trail directly off of the Mineral Springs Trail.

    Next, dropping down and past the Springs, I followed the real trail route down to the next pass and found access to the lower Mesa easy. I looped around the Mesa, noticing what appeared to be yet another trail down below and heading off to the south... it proved to be a great connecting Spur trail over to Little Mineral Springs trail. It was in great shape and covered with cacti in full magenta bloom.

    I exited LMS trail down at the Indian Wells, and went off trail over to Lost Trail Canyon, and looped back to my car in that drainage.

    It was not the harder day planned, but it was a great outing. New stuff... that seems to be what keeps me going of late. Now, for some stupid reason I did not take my camera along. So, got to redo the loop...

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Park at the intersection of Scenic Drive and Indian Wells Road. ...on the west side of the intersection. Indian Wells Road may be accessed off the main drive in town, White Sands Blvd. Park anywhere in this rocky field area and walk to the far northeast corner to find the marked trail.
    page created by imike on Feb 11 2010 7:11 pm
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