Datil Well

Whites City, New Mexico 88268

Datil Well

Datil Well Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"New Mexico is crisscrossed with historic trails from each of the major periods of its long history. Representative of the intense ranching era of the early twentieth century is the Magdalena Stock Driveway. Whenever a railroad pushed deeper into the interior of the state with a new branch line, cattlemen and sheep brokers instantly had new markets. Stock driveways developed so the ranchers could herd their stock to the railhead.

When the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway was extended to the tiny settlement of Magdalena in the northern San Mateo Mountains, the town became the shipping point for ranches on thousands of square miles in the northern Gila River watershed. Dozens of lesser trails were consolidated in 1918 with establishment of the Magdalena Stock Driveway. The driveway was routed to have water available every 10 miles between Springerville, Arizona, and Magdalena. As many as 150,000 sheep and 21,000 cattle made the journey over the trail in a single year. Datil Well was one of the water sources established to promote the use of the trail."

More Datil Well Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking New Mexico - 4th Edition (Falcon Guides)
Laurence Parent
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"This is an easy hike just outside of the village of Datil in one of the least populated parts of the state. The trail is not spectacular, but is a pleasant hike through pinyon-juniper woodland to several viewpoints in an area with a dearth of developed trails. The trail starts at the campground, a good spot to spend the night before or after doing the hike. The hiking trail starts in the campground and makes a 3.0-mile loop, counting the spurs to the overlooks. As is obvious on the map, a connecting trail makes two shorter loops possible. The trail is easy to follow and well marked."

Datil Well Trip Reports

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Great trail to experience a pinyon-juniper forest as well as scenic views of the San Augustin Plains and Datil Mountains. Well maintained and easy to follow. It also includes some interpretive signs to describe features along the trail. Examples: a microcosm which nourishes a stand of ponderosa pines; a couple of alligator juniper trees with their distinctive barks. This was a very pleasant hike on a fall day but the trail is somewhat exposed and could be hot in the summer. Though I parked along the road where the trail exits the campground (per advice in the trail guide), a friendly campground host said one could park at an empty campsite and no fee would be assessed unless camping overnight. The campground is also very nice and is popular with hunters and other visitors.

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Trail Information

Whites City
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
March to November
Additional Use
USGS Datil
Local Maps