Chaves County High Point Trip Report

One Tree Peak (7,089 ft)

Date: December 5, 2002
Author: John Garner

A nice short hike in the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains northeast of El Paso. The trailhead can be reached via NM 24 from several directions; I came from the east. Note that the topo shows a road going up the valley toward the mountain; the entry to the road is now blocked off by a large round post. The gate itself is not locked, and you can pass through it on foot, but only an ATV could get between the gate and the post.

Access: From US 82 east of Elk, NM, turn south on NM 24. Set odometer. Distances are in miles -

  5.9 - (just past hamlet of Dunkin) Turn right on gravel Cuevo Canyon Road
14.3 - Road splits; veer left onto Chimney Canyon Road
16.7 - Pass Otero County marker
16.9 - Stay left at junction with Dog Canyon Road; your road is now signed FR 176
18.3 - end of drive. You start the hike at a gate on the east side of the road, just past Apple Canyon.

Several canyons in the area are signed; Strawberry Canyon's sign is visible from the other direction, not from the north. If you see it, you've gone too far. Also, if you see "Entering Private Property" signs, you've also gone too far.

Regarding private property, there are many posted signs along road; signs refer to property along road, not road itself. The public has the right to use the road. The road itself is easily passable to cars, IF DRY. It was wet when I was there, and slippery. I was very glad to have 4WD, and used it.

To reach the hp, hike up the old road for about a mile, passing a dry stock tank along the way. You'll see a large yellow water tank at 0.95 mile from the road; the summit is directly east and above the tank. From any point past the tank, pick your spot and climb up the moderately steep hill. Fairly easily climbing through open pinion forest (unless it's wet like it was when I was there; I slipped on loose mud and fell half a dozen times).

Reach the obvious summit at 1.35 miles. There is a BM next to a stone cairn; there is a pill bottle register under some of the rocks.

Notes: Probably a nice view; my view extended about 10 yards because of fog. I had to use GPS/compass and map to find the hill, and then up to the summit. Very slippery as 2 inches of wet snow had fallen in the 12 hours before my visit. About 15 register signees since 1999; reads like a Who's Who of County Highpointing (Akerman, Olson, Mitchler, Wymore......hmmm...Garner...)

Other notes: As usual, a nice meadow all fouled with cow patties (though no cows when I was there).

Trip statistics: 2.75 miles round-trip with 800 feet of elevation gain.