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Rim Trail Mile 15 - 20, NM
mini location map2020-08-06
11 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Rim Trail Mile 15 - 20, NM 
Rim Trail Mile 15 - 20, NM
 
Hiking avatar Aug 06 2020
markthurman53
Hiking9.40 Miles 1,546 AEG
Hiking9.40 Miles   5 Hrs   25 Mns   2.01 mph
1,546 ft AEG      45 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
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mamakatt22
Our first day in Cloudcroft was along another section of the Rim Trail T105, this time from about mile 20 at Cathey Vista to Atkinson Field at around mile 15. The forest road to Atkinson Field was locked so we started at the Cathey Vista trail head along the sun Spot Highway, between Saturn and Mars. This trail is through a forest of Fir and Ponderosa Pine with occasional views along the way to the West over the Tularosa Basin. The trail goes over two minor peaks but stays between 9000 and 9600 feet. I discovered two more marked trails that head to the west down to the West Side Road, FR 90, The Heart Attack Trail and Cathey Canyon Trail. These trails, unlike the rim trail, will have a little more elevation gain to them as they descend down to the West Side Road. These two trails along with the Rim Trail could make a nice loop hike. We took a break at Atkinson Field at the turn around point of our hike last June along the Rim Trail. We followed our route back to Cathey vista.

The weather was in the low 70’s making for pleasant hiking. Even though there had been rain here we didn’t get rained on. These mountains don’t have a lot of running streams as it sinks in the ground rapidly, much like on the Kaibab Plateau. With the exception of a few sunflowers (black eyed or brown eyed suzans) Flowers were sparse. Lots of elk sign but didn’t see any elk along the trail, probably because we didn’t start the hike till around 10:00. After the hike we stopped in Cloudcroft for dinner before heading to our cabin (did see elk there). Since this was in New Mexico there is a two week quarantine, obviously not enforced and you could not dine inside. We did find one restaurant that had barbecue and was allowing inside dining in protest to the governor and we ate there, great food. There was actually more social distancing in this restaurant than in the crowded outside dining restaurants. I was given a free bumper sticker at the Barbecue restaurant with the New Mexico state emblem that says “OUR GOVERNOR IS AN IDIOT”. I don’t usually stick stickers on my car (except the HAZ sticker) so I temporarily taped it to my rear window to match the other cars driving around Cloudcroft. Now I am in Texas driving with Arizona Plates and a New Mexico Governor is an idiot sticker.
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