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Ladrone Gulch Trail

Contact Info
Gila National Forest
1804 North Date Street
Truth or Consequences, NM 87901

Phone:
575-894-6677
Basics
Length:
3 miles
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
3 - 4 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
7240 feet
Elevation Range:
7240 feet to 9240 feet
Elevation Change:
2000 feet
Usage:
Light
Season:
Spring to Fall

Description

The Black Range Crest trail offers great hiking but it's an exceptionally rewarding experience to actually climb the mountain. Trail 127 gains 2,000 feet of altitude in three miles on this steep ascent up the eastern slopes of the Black Range in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness. The hike is best suited for strong hikers. At the crest it connects with Trail 79 in a saddle south of Hillboro Peak. It's another three-quarter mile and an 800 foot ascent up the south and east slopes to the top of the this 10,011 foot peak following #79. There is a Forest Service lookout tower at the top and outstanding views of the peaks along the crest of the range.

Directly across the saddle is Trail 412 which contours around the southwest slope of the peak, connecting with #79 on the west slope in 1.5 miles. Follow #79 up the west slope one mile to the top of the peak and descend down the east slope and back to #127 to make a 3.25-mile loop over the peak. Hiking this loop will be a total of about 9.25 and a 3,000 foot elevation gain begining at trailhead 127.

Trail 127 is a steep ascent up the east slopes of the Black Range to Hillsboro Peak and is a great day hike for strong hikers.

The mountain crest is hazardous during thunder storms.

Details

Length:
3 miles
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
3 - 4 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
7240
Elevation Range:
7240 feet to 9240
Elevation Change:
2000
Usage:
Light
Season:
Spring to Fall
Useful Map(s):
USGS: Kingston, Hillsboro
Additional Details:

There are no facilities along Forest Road 40E or at the trail head. Parking is limited to a few pull-offs along the road. This trail is very steep and rocky in places and not recommended for livestock.

Hillsboro is about 12.5 miles east of the trail head and provides food, gas, and lodging.

Water in the drainages on the climb is seasonal and it''s advisable to carry all you need. Water quality is not tested therefore it cannot be guaranteed to be drinkable, it is advisable to filter or treat all drinking water.

The trail ascends through Ponderosa Pine forest, Gamble Oak, Aspen forest, and at last into the Spruce and Fir forest at the crest of the mountain. The deep, rugged canyons are home to bear and cougar which are seldom, if ever, seen. Peregrine Falcons have been observed in their dramatic arial displays above the canyons. These canyons keep their own secrets. Prospectors in the 1800''s sought their fortunes here coming into conflict with the Apaches who called these mountains home.

The Black Range is aptly named. In past times it was also know as Sierra Diablo, the "Devil Range". Its deep canyons and steep, densely forested slopes give the range a darkly ominous and impenetrable appearence on the horizon. The Range is about 70 miles long and runs north and south. It parallels the Rio Grande River to the east and the Mimbres River to the west.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

From the town of Hillsboro go 9 miles west on NM 152 to Kingston. Turn right off the highway and follow the paved road through Kingston. In about a half mile the pavement ends and becomes 40E, a primative forest road not maintained for public use. It is three miles to the trail head. The first 2 miles are passable with a high-clearance vehicle. The last mile is a rough jeep trail and it's advisable to park in any of the pull-offs before the road gets too rough. This will add only a mile or less to the hike. Trail 127 begins where the jeep trail ends at the Aldo Leopold Wilderness boundary. There are wilderness boundary signs attached to the trees but there are no trail head signs.


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