This hike route is point to point. And it's an ultra marathon hike.
We will meet at the fire station and leave 1 car, then proceed to Oliver Lee memorial state park. The hike will begin at the visitor center inside the park, proceeding up Dog Canyon trail (TR106) gaining approx 3000ft until we reach the top of Joplin Ridge. The trail ends at a dirt road (00090B) which eventually runs into west side road. At the intersection of West side road and 00090B is trail 234, road canyon trail (TR234), which will lead us up to Sunspot Observatory. Approximate distance to this point is 10 miles.
At Sunspot Observatory we will head north on the Rim Trail (TR105) until we reach the turnoff 9 miles later for Alamo Lookout Tower. At this point we will take a left on the road and stop by the lookout tower as we begin our descent down the ridge back to West Side Road via Alamo Peak Trail (TR109). The distance from Alamo Tower down to west side road is approx 4 miles.
Once we're back at West Side Road, we will head north for approx 3.8 miles until we reach the final leg of the hike at the A Trail (TR119). The A trail is where we will hike down the rest of the mountain range into Alamogordo, approximately 5 miles. The end of the A trail is a half mile from my house.
We will take a car from my house back to Oliver Lee Memorial state park and pick up the other vehicle. After that, I recommend your favorite method of recovery from a long day on the trail.
This hike should provide an excellent tour of the foothills and mountains surrounding Alamogordo. The total distance is approximately 32 miles, with at least 6-7K feet of elevation gain.
Here's a quick recap of the route:
1. Dog Canyon To Sunspot Observatory: 10 miles
2. Rim Trail to Alamo Tower: 9 Miles
3. Alamo Lookout Tower to West Side Road: 4 Miles
4. West Side Road to A Trail: 4 miles
5. A Trail to Alamogordo: 5 Miles
DISTANCE is ~32 mi
ELEVATION GAIN is ~6000+ ft gained.
FEES: I have a NM SP day use pass for one car (4 people). If we don't get back in time we may have to pay for an overnight pass. If you carpool from LC or El Paso, please compensate your driver for gas!
DURATION: Hope to start at OL State Park, Dog Canyon Trailhead by 0630, finish most likely after dark, 9 pm.
PET FRIENDLY? No.
SKILL LEVEL is *NOT* beginner friendly, this should be fairly obvious if you read the route description.
TERRAIN Rocky trails at the start and finish, with desert terrain giving way to Alpine as we climb up and eventually reach the Rim Trail.
WEATHER is TBA. Bring a windbreaker and be prepared for large swings in temp as the day progresses.