Grant County High Point Trip Report
Date: May 12, 2001
Author: Ken Jones
From the junction of NM highways 152 and 35, head north on SR 35. At 12.25 miles, you'll reach the
signed McKnight Road on your right. Reset your odometer, turn right, and follow McKnight Road (FR 152)
across the Mimbres River (this is a ford), past some private houses, and up onto a ridge. This is an
excellent gravel road. About 7.5 to 8 miles from the highway, the road drops to the right off the ridge, and
gets rougher. At 8.6 to 8.7 miles, you'll reach a fork. Bear left, staying on McKnight Road (signed). In the
next 3 miles or so, you'll climb to a higher ridge. This section of the road would be best with high clearance,
although I coaxed a rental Ford Escort up it. I wouldn't try it without 4WD if it's very wet. If you make it
through the first 3 miles from the fork, you should be able to get to road's end. At 8.3 miles from the fork
you'll see a "Forest Trail" sign on the left, pointing to the signed "Pretty Canyon" trail. In another quarter
mile (about 17.3 miles from the highway) you'll find a broad, flat area to park on the right side of the road,
and the signed Crest Trail. I parked here; an alternative is to continue on the road about another 1/3 mile to
McKnight Fire Cabin. The trail behind the cabin will save you perhaps 1/4 mile hiking, but at a cost of
another 80 feet of gain.
Follow the Crest Trail north. You'll pass the signed but obscure Water Canyon trail junction in a bit under a
mile (the signs say 1.2 miles; I think that's high), and about a mile and a half from the car a signed
("McKnight Mountain") spur leads right to the SE summit. This is the HP of Sierra county, and one of two
Grant county possibilities. There is a tiny register hidden beneath the highest rock.
For the other Grant county possibility, the NW summit of McKnight Mountain, return to the Crest Trail and
head north a couple of hundred yards to a junction. Take the left fork, signed Powderhorn Ridge Trail #82.
You'll follow this about 1/3 mile. It drops gently from the junction, then climbs briefly to pass above a rocky
crag. At the rise in the trail, right next to the crag, take off cross-country. You're about 1/8 mile from the
highest point, which is almost due north of where you're standing (true north bearing is about 350 degrees).
Pick your way through the woods until you find the highest point, a wooded area just south of some open glades.
Wander the summit area to convince yourself you've found the highest point, and that it drops off all around you.
I neither found nor left a register, though I did leave a tiny cairn near the highest spot.
Estimated round trip is about 4 miles, with under 1000 ft gain including all ups and downs.