Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sacramento Lookout- Lincoln National Forest

After getting back to the car from our Thousand Mile Canyon hike I wasn't quite satisfied,so I decided a little more exploring, by vehicle this time, was in order. When we had been up on  FR 64, I was intrigued by couple of things.One was doing a Hubble  Canyon Trail, Wills Canyon Trail loop using FR 64 as the connector. I wanted to see what the road walking was  like between the two trailheads( and measure the distance via odometer for myself). The other item that caught my eye was a sign pointing to the nearby access road to the Sacramento Lookout.
 Off we went, back up to NM 6563 and then turning back onto FR 64,  an all weather road with few rough spots, but easily driven when dry with a Toyota Corolla, which is what I had. The miles went by slowly, pleasantly enough, and soon we came to the Wills Canyon Trailhead, where some folks were camping with a large trailer. I didn't envy them though. It was that hot, kind of humid middle of the afternoon part of the day with still a lot of time to kill before making the evening meal. Unless they had  an air conditioner and a generator( which I didn't hear), those hours  can go by painfully slow. We drove on , and I noted the walk from  Wills to Hubble Canyon would be fairly level and only 1.3 miles. We traveled on, eventually descending into a large, aspen bordered meadow area where we encountered the turnoff for the Sacramento Lookout( FR  430) This is a decent enough road for  sedan travel as well, even if the last bit that curled us around up  to the  lookout was a bit rough.  The little bald spot where the lookout sat  afforded us a fantastic( if a bit hazy) view to the west. The tower is closed with a high fence, barbed wire, and a locked gate,but this is still a worthwhile destination. There are good sized stands of pure aspen that must be stunning in the fall, and  on clearer days the views out across the  forest ,down the desert canyons  and across the Tularosa Basin must be as well. We walked around a bit and then turning back to the car, I noticed for the first time how dark the clouds had gotten in the east. I heard the thunder and knew it was time to go. Rather than going back the way we came, I continued on FR 64 . We drove through an eerie forest of snags,   remnants of a forest fire several years ago, at  one point  before reaching the Scott Able Canyon Road.  I wished I had thought to snap some photos,but didn't.





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