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Aldo Leopold Wilderness Area Trails
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mini location map2019-05-24
11 by photographer avatarderpsquad
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Aldo Leopold Wilderness Area TrailsSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Backpack avatar May 24 2019
Backpack45.00 Miles
Backpack45.00 Miles5 Days         
1 Day       Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
FR 150 (Star Road) is decently graded and any high clearance could make it. A sedan if your willing to take a little bit of beating. Parked the truck at Diamond Creek 40 Trailhead and walked the road south down to South Diamond Creek Trail 68 where we began our hike.

68 was intermittent to non-existent for the first 7 miles up until it's intersection with Meown trail 707. However, route finding was simple by following near the creek through an open field of knee high grass and large ponderosas. There is no water until about a mile from the intersection with 707.

At the intersection with 707 we continued east down 68. The trail is well maintained through here and is a stroll crossing the now flowing creek dozens of times. There are tons of beautiful meadows with ample camping opportunities, however, established campsites are rare. You can tell this area rarely sees people. Lots of elk sightings through here. We camped at the intersection with Burnt Canyon 69 at a nice established campsite with water nearby. We took a planned zero the next day to enjoy the scenery, catch up with old friends, and drink whiskey.

Despite the burn, 69 is in great shape and has water flowing throughout. We chugged water and filled up before leaving the canyon as we knew we would not see water on the Black Range Crest 74. It's a steady climb out of the canyon but the views at the top make it all worth while. Diamond peak has incredible views of the surrounding ranges but really the entire time on 74 is jaw-dropping. We stopped for lunch just south of Fisherman Canyon just as some intermittent hail and strong winds started rolling through. The plan was to camp near Chloride creek just off 74 but someone on the team sprained their ankle so we made some adjustments to the trip. We took everything out of her bag, taped her up, gave her a heavy dose of vitamin I, and lent her some poles. We went down Fisherman Canyon which was in good shape and gorgeous to Diamond Creek 40. 40 is pretty tight with ample creek crossings up until its intersection with Caledonia 42. Again, established campsites are pretty much non-existent through here. We camped in a massive open meadow about 2 miles west of 42. Water the whole way down 40 up until Caves Well and the trail is in good shape. Despite the views on 74, this canyon was the highlight of the trip for me.

Short hike down 40 to Caves Well where we would camp our last night. Beautiful old cowboy camp with water nearby.

Another short hike back to the truck, fixed a slow leak in a tire, and headed out for the 6hr drive back to Tucson. Incredible area with so much wildlife and only saw two folks the whole time on the CDT which hits 74. If you're looking for solitude, Aldo Leopold has plenty of it.

Resources: (segment 23 and 24) ... 587323.pdf
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