Monday, February 20, 2012

Eddy County, NM Highpoint

It's getting to be that time of the year in southeast New Mexico. The time of the year when the winds kick it up a notch and really start to howl. Despite the wind, I decided I wanted to get out for some adventure. Not wanting to go too far away I opted to see if I could bag the highpoint of my home county: Eddy County, New Mexico. The drive up into the national forest near Queen was uneventful, even if the car was getting moved around due to the wind. I got  to the trailhead at around 9:30 and quickly ran into a pair of backpackers and their dog. It must have been a windy night for them last night!

The hike started out an easy one on some of the old forest roads. I passed the turn off to Devil's Den and then Camp Wilderness Ridge. I was heading to the end of the road where my descent into North McKittrick Canyon began a few weeks ago.  There a good view of my objective from the end of the road.
Eddy County 's Highpoint

Once at the road's end I found the cairned rout that led to the bottom of the canyon and then hiked up to the top of the ridge on the other side. Right away I dropped down into a saddle and had to climb again. This climb was a bit steep, but it went farily quick. Before I knew it I was on top of Eddy County. There were great views of North McKittrick Canyon, Dog Canyon and the Dog Canyon Ranger Station in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Above N McKittrick Canyon

I signed the register, took my photo and then started to head down to get out of the wind.
Eddy HP register
 Eric on Eddy Co Highpoint

On the return I decided to head down into North McKittrick Canyon and follow it back to its head instead of hiking back up the ridge I used on the way out. The hiking went quickly and before I knew it I was back on the old road. Not a bad way to spend a windy day.     

1 comment:

KC5ZRQ said...

I really appreciate this write up. I'm planning on making a hike to this high-point on April 24th, 2012 to operate amateur radio for the New Mexico QSO party. I'd really like to get some information from you on the best way to get there, since I've been studying some maps and can't really decide on the best route.