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Talk to me about Cloudcroft trails
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Q Smith
( - MLife

Locale: Texas Hill Country
Talk to me about Cloudcroft trails on 06/22/2012 10:38:34 MDT Print View

Folks, I got burned out at Ruidoso. I'm now looking at Cloudcroft area. I don't demand too much for my excursions: less frequented trails, nice vistas, forest, 3 5o 5 days. So, using that criteria for the Cloudcroft area:

1. any good trails? which ones?
2. water available on the trails?
3. what is the fire threat level?


Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Cloudcroft trails update June 2012 on 06/22/2012 10:56:44 MDT Print View

We switched to Cloudcroft 2 wks ago after seeing the Ruidoso fire from Alamogordo. The Rim Trail is really the only game in town; it's multiuse but all we saw were mountain bikers. Mostly good looking female mountain bikers (at least when we hiked it, but we had some good karma going). There's some other views but most of the time you are in the forest.

General layout: Generally north-south but the trail goes back and forth, with some vistas, then plunge into the forest again. What you measure in road mileage shuttling vehicles or caching water - just double it plus for trail miles. A guidebook divides it into 4 segments which translate to 4 high mileage days (10-12 mod or so). The guidebook does not have up to date road junctions though.

Water: None but plenty of opportunities to cache at road junctions. Maybe the monsoon season will cause some streams to fill but prep a cache plan.

Navigation: The main road (and some FS dirt rosds) can act as a handrail and at a few points you come into view with it. It can lead to a false sense of security though as they have new designations. If using a GPS, wait till the waypoint to your water cache is loaded before moving (our navigator got a wrong waypoint to our shuttle vehicle. I'll try posting some pics later but taking a break from work.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Talk to me about Cloudcroft trails on 06/22/2012 14:37:40 MDT Print View

Picture of one of the few views ... White Sands is visibleRim trail view

Most of the time you are in the forest, sometimes with an intersection with a forest road.Rim trail and forest road junction

You will need to get a fire update close to your departure. Hopefully monsoon season starts...

Q Smith
( - MLife

Locale: Texas Hill Country
Thanks HK - very helpful on 06/22/2012 16:00:05 MDT Print View

I like the pics too.

John Pilhoefer

Locale: West Texas
Talk to me about Cloudcroft trails on 06/28/2012 14:48:26 MDT Print View

This past Sunday I did an eleven mile shuttle day hike on the Rim trail. I passed maybe six people out for day hikes. I believe the Rim trail would be the only hike of the magnitude that you are looking for. Most of the hiking in Cloudcroft is day hikes or easy overnighters. I believe the Rim trail is 25-30 miles in total length.

The weather was great; it only became hot on some of the long, exposed uphill sections. 90% of the trail is under a tree canopy. Last weekend there were fire restrictions and most likely will go for a number of weeks, unless we get some serious rain.


Edited by jpilhoefer on 06/28/2012 14:50:35 MDT.