White Mountain Wilderness Area Trails

Ruidoso, New Mexico

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3 Reviews
5 out of 5
The Mountains of the Southwest have been described as “sky islands,” and nowhere is this more true than the mountain ridge known as the White Mountains, a subrange of the larger Sacramento Mountains. From the parched Chihuahuan Desert of the Tularosa Basin just to the west, the mountains rise precipitously 8,000 feet to the alpine life zone atop the 12,003-foot summit of Sierra Blanca, the southernmost occurrence of this life zone in the U.S. No place in New Mexico has greater vertical relief. To the east stretch the arid high plains. The range and the wilderness take their name from Sierra Blanca, “white mountain,” the dominant peak whose retention of snow long after other peaks are bare has made it a landmark throughout southern New Mexico. A mild climate, a welcoming environment, a good system of maintained trails, and easy access make for outstanding hiking in the White Mountain Wilderness.
New Mexico's Wilderness Areas: The Complete Guide

DESCRIPTION FROM:

New Mexico's Wilderness Areas: The Complete Guide

by Bob Julyan & Tom Till (Westcliffe Publishers)

The Mountains of the Southwest have been described as “sky islands,” and nowhere is this more true than the mountain ridge known as the White Mountains, a subrange of the larger Sacramento Mountains. From the parched Chihuahuan Desert of the Tularosa Basin just to the west, the mountains rise precipitously 8,000 feet to the alpine life zone atop the 12,003-foot summit of Sierra Blanca, the southernmost occurrence of this life zone in the U.S. No place in New Mexico has greater vertical relief.

To the east stretch the arid high plains. The range and the wilderness take their name from Sierra Blanca, “white mountain,” the dominant peak whose retention of snow long after other peaks are bare has made it a landmark throughout southern New Mexico. A mild climate, a welcoming environment, a good system of maintained trails, and easy access make for outstanding hiking in the White Mountain Wilderness.

©  Bob Julyan & Tom Till/Westcliffe Publishers. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Ruidoso
Distance: 110
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Season: Spring, summer, fall
Trailhead Elevation: 4,700 feet
Top Elevation: 11,300 feet
Additional Use: Skiing
Local Contacts: Lincoln National Forest – Smokey Bear Ranger District
Driving Directions: Directions to White Mountain Wilderness Area Trails

Recent Trail Reviews

8/18/2010
0

I began this hike at the Trail head of Crest Trail #25 near Monjeau Lookout Tower. Had great weather but little water, don't start this hike with less than 2 liters of water because its 5.5 miles and a couple of thousand feet elevation rise before the first spring. I made it to trail #33 before setting camp, the next day I came out trail #33. This trail is in need of some attention, there are alot of down trees and it is very hard to stay on the trail. Also very steep, but also very beautiful.


5/27/2010
0

Forget the first miles from Monjeau, which are pretty but not special. Start at Ski Area, to climb to Ice House Spring.. From there, the trail is spectacular. The springs are very seasonal, so bring water. Saw lots of elk. It is possible to do the 22 miles in one day.


10/1/2008
1

We went up antelope creek and around trail 25 to white horse hill, and then down the ridge along trail 33. Not a long loop, but very beautiful with Aspen turning along 33 especially. Trail 33 is not in good shape and had to search to stay on it on the way down, would be very steep to come up. Lots of great views of the arid valley/white sands, and the mountains along the way.



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Apr 2018