Sierra Blanca

Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico

Elevation Gain1,257ft
Trailhead Elevation9,849ft
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 Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking New Mexico - 4th Edition (Falcon Guides)
Laurence Parent
View more trails from this guide book
"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 peak and surrounding ridges and summits are the only area in southern New Mexico to rise above timberline into alpine tundra vegetation. Small moraines and cirques indicate that the peak was probably glaciated in the Pleistocene. The climb to the summit or Lookout Mountain is popular in summer; try to avoid weekends if you want a more quiet hike." Read more

Sierra Blanca Reviews

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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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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 ( )...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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Trail Information

Lincoln National Forest
Nearby City
Lincoln National Forest
Skill Level
Lincoln National Forest, 901 Mechem, Ruidoso, NM 88345; (575) 257-4095
Local Contacts
White Mountain Wilderness; Lincoln National Forest; Sierra Blanca Peak and Nogal Peak 7.5-minute USGS quads
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018