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Basin North Wash
4 Photosets

mini location map2013-12-07
24 by photographer avatarimike
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Mineral Springs Trail #5579Southeast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2013
Hiking9.30 Miles 2,390 AEG
Hiking9.30 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   2.43 mph
2,390 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 no routes
Slow, easy start to day… no one signed up for the planned hike… odd, had ten other hikers yesterday! So, I changed plans… headed over to check out an approach hike that might work for Terri’s Friday group.

Cloudy, a bit dismal… and cold. Since it was just going to be a short outing I did not bother packing food or drink. Around 8:30am I headed off from the trailhead. The Basin area is confusingly crisscrossed with drainages; hard to figure out which is which down in the lower regions. I headed up the first one I came to… and soon realized it was not the one I intended to explore… (Mineral Springs North) but it was one I needed to hike. This Basin North Wash. It effectively drained the northern portion of the Basin area, up to the Saddle on Beeman Ridge. I’d hiked the upper portion of this wash exiting off the end of the Garden Wall hike years earlier. Nice to see the rest of it...?

It was okay… bit over an hour to get up to where I had been before. Those couple of miles might make an okay leg of a loop on a warmer, more cheerful day.

So… up and out and over into the cut I was supposed to be surveying. I’d simply down hike it; it would give me the same pics and no problem finding the bottom exit.

But… I’d never really been to the upper reaches of this canyon… and it looked to be a major improvement over the cut I’d started the day with… I figured I could at least go around a couple of bends and see what was there…

… wow… there was a lot!

Many bends later… and another hour in passing, I’d moved through some really nice canyon sections, finally topping out with a 30’ overhanging falls. It looked like there was another mile above me… and possibly a passage on up to Winter Peak?

But… this was supposed to be a short day! Then again… if there was a way down off Winter peak to this western perspective, it could make for a great loop… so… instead of heading down canyon I traversed around the cliffs over on to Mineral Ridge. I figured I could at least check out the viability of moving down that ridgeline.

It worked out well… Once on the ridge and moving down, it was not long before I hit upon an old horse trail… many years unused. It told me there would be no problem making my way down and off. I enjoyed the descent, catching views of upper Mineral Springs Canyon and The Basin in general.

Back around to the mouth of the upper part of Mineral Springs Canyon North (the cut I’d been in before hitting the ridge) I dropped in and walked out.

Now I know where to access the bottom… it was not where I thought.

4.5 hours… two new canyons… one new ridge… not a bad morning!
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