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Dry Canyon, Crest Trail, & Three Rivers Loop

I overslept (oops) when I scheduled this earlier in July—so I'm going to try it again! We'll be leaving at a much more sane time than July, so sleeping through an alarm clock will be less of a problem.

We'll start at Three Rivers Campground and head up Three Rivers Trail (T44) till the junction with Dry Canyon Trail (T5574). We'll take the junction and head up the Dry Canyon Trail till we hit the Crest Trail (T25). We'll take the Crest Trail south, going up White Horse Hill, till the junction with the upper end of the Three Rivers Trail, which we will take down back to where we parked.

If you're part of the gossip club, this was the route I was planning to take the one time I became tragically, epically, majestically lost. The lessons learned are very clear to me, the most important of which: I do not care what anyone says, especially drunk cowboys, or where the trail goes, I am following the GPS and relying on the planning, maps, & knowledge that I already have! That, and I've done all the trails involved at least three times, so if I didn't know them well then, I do now.

Please bring rain gear, adequate calories/food, and adequate water. On the way down via Three Rivers there should be plenty of water, so I plan to bring my water filter so I can reduce the amount of water I need to carry.

If you are a guest of the United States (i.e. non-citizen), there is a US Customs & Border Patrol checkpoint demarcating passage to/from what the ACLU calls a "Constitution-Free Zone". If this bothers you, donating to the ACLU and harassing your congress critters; otherwise please bring appropriate documentation of your entry into the US (passports, visas, etc—you know better what you need than we do). Group hikes are not the place to make a stand for your civil liberties.

DISTANCE is ~14 mi round-trip.

ELEVATION GAIN is ~2000–2500 ft gained.

FEES: None. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!

DURATION: Finish by early/mid afternoon.

PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Bring a muzzle (you shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash), and if you'd like to unleash, ask others before you do so.

SKILL LEVEL is *NOT* beginner friendly. No whiners!

TERRAIN starts in high desert scrub land, up through alpine forest, and eventually reaching treeless mountain tundra. Staying on forest service trail the entire route.

WEATHER is likely to include thunderstorms. Please bring a pancho and rain gear.

AFTERWARDS we may get a light supper in Tularosa or Alamogordo.

MEET for carpool at:

MORE information:

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  • Samat

    GPS track: if my (supposedly more accurate) GPS is to be believed, we did 15.2 mi w/ 4200 ft of gain. Nothing to sneeze at!

    September 9, 2013

  • Samat

    Awesome hike! We did not get lost (despite the trail being quite weak in several places). Most varied wildlife I've ever seen on a hike—we saw a bear (!), a small snake, a BIG & very angry rattlesnake, and oryx on the drive back! Will be doing a variant of this hike (probably Barber Ridge→Goat Canyon→Crest Trail →Three Rivers) again!

    September 8, 2013

  • Ryan C.

    Nice description!

    September 5, 2013

  • Gus

    Ha!! I'm stoked for this!!

    September 4, 2013

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