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Fillmore Canyon / Modoc Mine - 1 member in 6 triplogs has rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Apr 19 2013
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Dripping Springs Natural AreaSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Apr 19 2013
imike
Hiking8.00 Miles 1,400 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
1,400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
rode the $2 bus over to check out the potentials... that's one cheap 90 mile ride! Once over in Cruces, can hop on the bike and ride out for the hiking. Today I met up with Yubao for a ride up to hike Yellow Rocks and a variety of other trails in the area... once they close down the Lincoln National Forest (three weeks away?) this may become my twice weekly hike pattern! This is one nice looking area!!

Met up with Terri and her 11 hikers... they were enjoying their Friday outing.

Nice day.
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Oct 27 2012
rwstorm
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 Guides 1
 Routes 125
 Photos 20,504
 Triplogs 933

73 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Organ Needle 9012Southwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2012
rwstorm
Hiking8.00 Miles 4,150 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   10 Hrs   30 Mns   0.76 mph
4,150 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
imike
Now that I've had a few days to relax and unwind perhaps I can say I liked this hike. Well, not quite. I actually liked a lot about it though, especially the super dramatic scenery and seeing how the route wound its way up to the peak. I have admired this stunning range for a long time, and in recent years have camped and hiked in the lower elevations. I have looked up at that jagged ridgeline and wanted to go up there, but it is the kind of place I wouldn't want to be exploring alone. So when the Las Cruces hiking meetup group posted it, I knew I had my chance. I also knew from experience and research that it was going to be a long tough day.

The first part of the hike up to the Modoc Mine area and over to the yellow rocks is pretty standard stuff on a decent trail or old mine road, depending on your approach. After that it becomes a very steep hiker's route up to Juniper Saddle and then on up through Dark Canyon to Dark Saddle. From there it heads over to the final scramble to the peak, which is probably the best footing of the whole deal as you are on solid rock.

I don't like much exposure, so I knew there was a good chance I would stop at that one short section near the top. As such things go, it is a pretty easy move of about 30 feet. Since I don't like spots like this, plus being pretty tired from the ascent, I just hung out there for awhile with Mike, while the others went up. It didn't bother me in the least not to have reached the peak. I usually hike until I'm out of my comfort zone and then stop. At the point with the exposure, you are about 300 horizontal and 100 vertical feet from the top.

The biggest concern for me was going back down. I am always really strong on the uphill, but now that I'm not young and nimble anymore, the downhill is more difficult, and I have really slowed down descending steep terrain such as this. About half of the 4 mile one way distance is over loose dirt, scree, and dirt on rocks, sometimes at a treacherous angle. Throw in a whole bunch of big step ups and downs and you get the picture. On most hikes of this nature you get breaks in this routine, but not on this one. It was unrelenting. Think of that middle section of the Picketpost hike, except going on for miles! It therefore became a mentally tiring ordeal as well, as it required total concentration to keep from falling in many places. I made it down without falling, but did a lot of butt sliding for sure. My legs and knees got so tired that I was the last one down. Interestingly however, I didn't have any knee pain like I sometimes do.

Some of the people on the hike were doing a lot of brush trimming, especially up high in Dark Canyon. This made the route more obvious and easier to navigate without getting bloodied up. :thanx:

Got back to the cars around sunset, with the faster hikers already departed. Some of us dragged our weary bones over to Andele! in Mesilla (one of my favorite places in the area) for post hike food and rehydration.

Some final thoughts...because of the extended nasty footing on the downhill, I don't think I would go back up there again. I was glad to have satisfied my curiosity about the upper reaches however. Do not underestimate the toughness of this one! It would be real easy to get hurt up there. If you go, it will be a long physically and mentally draining day (for most people).

Also, in the generic description of this hike here, the 5200 feet AEG is too high. I like JJ3's number from the official gps route he posted. This is 4706 from where he did it from the mine road, which is about 180 feet lower than where we started at the La Cueva picnic area. Also, unless you can drive up to the green gate on the mine road, it will be a little less distance from the picnic area, say 7.8 miles RT.
Flora
Flora
Mexican Silene
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Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
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Oct 27 2012
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Organ Needle 9012Southwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2012
imike
Hiking8.00 Miles 5,200 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   10 Hrs   30 Mns   0.91 mph
5,200 ft AEG   1 Hour   45 Mns Break39 LBS Pack
 no routes
Partners none no partners
HAZ - Event
Hmmm... this is going to be an interesting triplog to compose... as might the hike description I should write to better define this trail. It is a trail, and as of the end of today, it is an open passage to the top... a few of took the extra time to remove all of the obstructing brush, even in the lower lying stretches.

Trail though it might be, for the average hiker the route moves more like a precarious off trail passage. The lower couple of miles, whether you access from the old mining road as illustrated on the GPS route, or the really nice trail up from Fillmore Canyon trail are sane, safe and pleasant. Those miles bring you nicely up to the formation called Yellow Rocks. For most hikers, their day should end at this point.

That is not to say that there is not more to experience above and beyond that point... for the very conditioned hiker... one without issues of endurance, bad knees, less than great balance, limited descending skills... and eventually, scrambling exposure, to go beyond that point might be inviting. If any of those are at issue, a less than pleasant day may be ahead..

I'm glad I hiked this trail while I am still way out of shape and carrying a heavy backpack. In shape with a moderate load it could be a fast scramble up and back down. Most of my perspective expressed in this triplog (...and I'll hopefully include that perspective in the trail description) was garnered from talking with the variety of people on the hike. Their opinions spanned the spectrum about what the day was about.

The truly fit and accustomed to this style route: it was a day out, not so different than any other...

Others felt it was a challenge day... really hard to get up and down in the allowable daylight... a day that would require three or four days to recover from.

Others... just not fun. One hiker fell six times (fell five times the last time she did it). Another hiker fell three times. Basically, there was no good footing above Yellow Rock... and that feature added undue tension to the day.

Others... worst day of hiking ever!! Terrible route... pointless to ever go... take a hammer and hit yourself repeatedly instead; it would be more fun!

Myself... the extra slow pace made the up/down relatively easy. I was cutting brush most of the time. My extra heavy pack was giving me a high quality training day, in some respects. The footing was slippery; it was not a good route for my kind of endurance training... too scaly to run up or down. I'd have to say the better, more enjoyable day would be to hike Yellow Rock instead of the peak, but then again I'm not really a peak bagger. Most everyone on the trail today was just that... they wanted that top.

That raises yet another issue... just below the top is an exposed bit of scrambling. It has very secure foot placement... a couple of easy moves and you are around it. But, there is exposure. For those hikers sensitive to that issue, it could be a major problem. I talked one hiker through the section; he was scared to death. It is hard for folks not effected by exposure to realize the extent of the issue for those feeling the over impact of irrational perspective... irrational, but very real in that moment. There could even be an argument that there could be valid danger if a mistake were to happen.

I opted to forego the top and visit with another hiker today. I'll go back another day. My camera had died by then... I have to go back for more pictures anyway. I will wait until I am fully trained up so that I can catch the other end of the viewpoint perspective.

If I do write the description it will be the hardest I have ever written... I'm not sure how to effectively balance the ranges of feelings about this hike.

Now, I do not get to rest up from the day's efforts.. I need to cleanup... pakcup... and get ready for a 6am departure in the morning on one of the longer, harder canyon hikes. Probably will not get much sleep... might be slow going tomorrow!

Oh, yeah... I cached 60 oz lemonade down at Yellow Rocks for my hike out... only an empty bottle sitting there for me when I got to it on the way out! Ideally, fluid karma will rebalance on whomever snagged my drink!!

Maybe they really needed it... Maybe they wished they were home, hitting themself with a hammer!

Good Day on The Mountain!!!
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Oct 14 2012
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Organ Peak Observatory, NM 
Organ Peak Observatory, NM
 
Hiking avatar Oct 14 2012
imike
Hiking9.80 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking9.80 Miles
3,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Very interesting, off trail ramble up towards Organ Peak... I held up a few hundred feet below the top, enjoying the view from the old observatory and snapping pics of the two hikers that peaked out. Now that I know the "correct" route to the top, I'll head back over and top out the hike... and a few others in the area. Meetup group today... nice folks.

Note: part of the reason for a lack of any trail or even established route in the upper reaches: it is on the Fort Bliss/ White Sands Military area. We found part of an old target drone up there!
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Sep 03 2010
rwstorm
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 Guides 1
 Routes 125
 Photos 20,504
 Triplogs 933

73 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Fillmore Canyon / Modoc MineSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2010
rwstorm
Hiking2.50 Miles 435 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   2 Hrs      1.25 mph
435 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
kissime321
First part of a Labor Day Weekend trip to New Mexico. After spending some time in Mesilla, it was off to the Dripping Springs Natural Area on the west side of the beautiful Organ Mountains. This area is administered by the BLM and has a modest 3 dollar entrance fee. From the La Cueva Picnic area, we took the Fillmore Canyon Trail for about a mile over to a small waterfall that had slight flow. Then it was back to the junction with the La Cueva Trail, which we walked for about a quarter mile over to the cave that has been inhabited by prehistoric cultures for perhaps 7000 years. It is also the cave that the hermit of Hermit's Peak fame met his demise, murdered there in 1869. He is buried in the Mesilla Cemetery. I looked for his tombstone there several years ago and didn't find it, but I plan on looking again someday.
More information:
http://www.rozylowicz.com/retirement/drippingsprings/dripping.html
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Apr 18 2010
DanaLee67
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 Guides 1
 Photos 484
 Triplogs 64

54 female
 Joined May 27 2006
 Apache Junction,
Fillmore Canyon / Modoc MineSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Apr 18 2010
DanaLee67
Hiking2.50 Miles 460 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles      2 Mns   75.00 mph
460 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
First time in the area! We are from Arizona and my son and his family are from Eastern New Mexico. We met up in Las Cruces for the weekend and decided to check out the Organ Mountains/Dripping Springs area! We didn't have much time so we decided to do this quick and easy hike! Loved the area, lots of flowers in bloom! We actually checked out the trail the evening before so a few of the pictures are from then and part from the next morning when we actually made it to the waterfall!

We really enjoyed this hike and hope to get to check out some of the other hikes in the Dripping Springs Natual Area next time we are in town!

Oh, my husband and I went beyond the water fall and found a smaller fall a little further up, hence the mileage and elevation differences!
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average hiking speed 0.98 mph

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.

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