Lincoln Nat'l Forest: 3 Rivers to Lookout Mountain

Hosted by Jornada Hiking & Outdoors Club

Public group


This hike runs along a creek that climbs from 3 Rivers base camp (6450ft) to the Crest Trail. At the top of the Crest trail we'll take a right hand turn and head to ski apache to summit lookout mountain. We would be back at the car no later than 8pm (sundown), which should give us enough time for a lunch at the ski Apache around 2-3pm. If you don't want to hike back to 3 rivers, feel free to find a partner who can park at ski apache and shuttle you back to 3 rivers. This adds about 4 hours of driving to your day if you choose this option, but you cut the hiking distance to about 12-13 miles.

What: 3 Rivers trail hike to Ski Apache (Lookout Mountain).

When: Meetup at 3 rivers trail head at 0745, we'll be on our way NLT 0800 Saturday morning.

Event Location: 3 Rivers trailhead.

Directions: From US 54, 24 miles south of Carrizozo or 18 miles north of Tularosa, turn east onto Forest Road 579 at the sign that says Three Rivers Petroglyph Site and Campground for 13 miles (the last 7 miles are unpaved). The road is well marked to the campground. There is a parking lot at the back of the campground that is right next to the trailhead we will be departing from.

Meeting point: 3 Rivers Campground. Those not staying overnight at the campsite should probably arrange a carpool from Las Cruces if your coming from that direction. We will be at the trailhead ready to go at 7:45am.

Optional: You can camp at 3 rivers campground the night before for $6/car. There are 12 developed tent sites near a stream along with toilets/picnic tables and drinking water.

Level of difficulty: 5-Strenuous (Trail is a steady uphill climb up to turnaround point. There should be plenty of water along the 3 rivers trail, the 2nd half of the hike to ski apache will have little to no water along the path. Total distance roundtrip is approximately 26 miles.

Cost: Must pay parking fee at State park entrance of $6.00 per car. Must provide own transportation, supplies, and full tank of gas

Bring: Hiking shoes/boots, hat, food and flashlight as we might wind up finishing after sundown. You may want to consider bringing a rainjacket and change of shirt/socks/shoes just in case there is rain that day

Optional: Camera, binoculars, walking stick, snacks.

Kid friendly? No Pet friendly? Yes