Sierra Blanca

Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico

Distance2.0mi
Elevation Gain1,257ft
Trailhead Elevation9,849ft
Top11,093ft
Elevation Min/Max9849/11093ft
Elevation Start/End9849/9849ft

Sierra Blanca

Sierra Blanca is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Lincoln County, New Mexico. It is within Lincoln National Forest. It is two miles long and begins at 9,849 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,257 feet. This trail connects with the following: Lower Deep Freeze and Upper Sierra Blanca.

Sierra Blanca Professional Reviews and Guides

"A day hike to the alpine summit of the highest mountain in southern New Mexico. The USGS designates the entire mountain range from the Jicarillas in the north to just north of north end of the Guadalupes in the south as the Sacramento Mountains.

The huge extrusive volcanic mountain of Sierra Blanca Peak towers 7,800 feet above the Tularosa Valley for the greatest relief in New Mexico. The peak and surrounding ridges and summits are the only area in southern New Mexico to rise above timberline into alpine tundra vegetation."

"A 12-mile paved highway that climbs up the highest mountain in southern New Mexico to Ski Apache ski area. The drive up to Ski Apache is one of the highest and most spectacular in the state. The ski area is on the upper slopes of 12,000-foot Sierra Blanca Peak, the highest mountain in southern New Mexico.

The mountain, snow-capped for much of the year, surprises many first time visitors to southern New Mexico who come expecting desert. The peak is high enough to reach above timberline; its summit is bare of trees. Alpine wildflowers blanket the upper slopes in summer."

Sierra Blanca Reviews

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5/13/2009
I was in nearby Ruidoso with family and saw Sierra Blanca Peak from downtown and knew I'd have to hike it. I asked a Forest Ranger if it could be hiked and was told that you needed permission from the Mescalero Apaches who run Ski Apache, but being short on time decided to give it a try anyway. I'd have stopped if I had come to a fence or a No Trespassing sign, but I saw neither. I hiked up from the trailhead next to the parking lot at Ski Apache. Had the trail to myself all the way to the saddle between Lookout & Sierra Blanca peaks. Met a guy who had overnighted on the summit and then a father & son later on the summit. Weather was PERFECT & the view was truly awesome. Watched a herd of @30 Elk across a valley from me. Total hiking out/summit hang-out/ hiking back time was 7 hours. Allow for as much summit hang-out time as you can, depending on the weather, I guess. The drive up to Ski Apache is worth the trip all by itself. Definitely one of the cooler places I've been. Lots of other great trails in the area, some of which I hiked the next day. Looking forward to going back again someday.
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10/30/2006
Beautiful drive...drove it first in a 2004 Dodge Intrepid, end of October (we haven't had much snow yet--although there was some at the summit, and it started a brief flurry on our way down). Beautiful views, but don't be afraid of heights. There are a couple of stops along the way to take some impressive pictures. One of the best features is there is a trailhead for a great trail hike (http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.asp?trailid=HGS122-077 )...enjoy, plan for a day or better if you're driving and hiking...and when you're done, jump over to Ruidoso and eat at the Circle J BBQ (my favorite!!)!
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9/11/2004
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Trail Information

Lincoln National Forest
Nearby City
Lincoln National Forest
Parks
Difficult
Skill Level
Lincoln National Forest
Local Contacts
Sierra Blanca Peak and Nogal Peak 7.5-minute USGS quads
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018