Initially, the trail climbs a small hill, but then levels out with only some very minor up and down for the next mile or so as it follows atop the narrow spine of the ridge that extends as one of the many branches growing out from West Side mesa. I knew that this was a trail that went all the way down to Alamogordo, but little else. I decided to walk along until it began going down hill in earnest, then I would turn around. So Seamus the Scottie and I just trucked along in the bright afternoon sun( should have brought my big hat). Further along views opened up of the city ( Alamogordo) below and all the way out to White Sands. In the far distance was Salinas Peak. The walking was easy for the most part. Even though this trail is open to motorized use, at least this section was not showing any signs of overuse or abuse. We just kept going a little further until we reached a meadow area I'd been looking ahead at for much of the hike. It was a pretty spot. We rested a bit. I thought about climbing a small rocky peak on the meadow's northern edge, but didn't. I had a strong feeling that not too far from here, the trail would begin its serious descent. Checking maps later, I was more or less right. If one wanted a little more of a " destination" for this hike, Ortega Peak is just little bit beyond where I stopped and wouldn't be too taxing even for the casual hiker. We had hiked close to 50 minutes out there and by the time we got back, it was a quarter to 4 with the sun rapidly dropping. Good timing, and really the best part of this hiking day was spent on a trail I decided to walk down as afterthought. NOTE: Trail 219 is on the left at the 3-way intersection of 5574,119,219. For some really good info on this and other nearby areas, especially on the west side of the Lincoln, check out imike's trail descriptions of the hikearizona website.
|views down to hells hole|
|salinas peak at left center|