Lincoln County High Point Trip Report

Lookout Mountain (11,580 ft)

Date: October 30, 2002
Author: James Wedekind

Lookout Mountain and Sierra Blanca make for a great day hike with amazing views of White Sands, the Capitan Mountains, and El Malpais (lava flows). The trailhead I used is located just above the gate for Ski Apache. Crest Trail #25 leads from this point to the ridge, and allows pleasant hiking conditions that avoid hiking directly up ski runs. I took this route because I wanted to enjoy the hike instead of just completing it. I stayed left at all junctions and tried to maintain a line parallel to the ski area boundary. Upon reaching a junction approximately 2 miles up the mountain, I veered left across a drainage and encountered Ice Spring within 50 yards (the other trail is a switchback to the right back up the slope). I followed this trail to the ridge and the upper gondola terminus. From there it's an easy hike up the Lookout summit.

The summit has a concrete observation platform with spectacular views of Sierra Blanca and the surrounding areas. On my hike, the wind was creating a substantial plume originating from the Sierra Blanca summit. I hate to compliment graffiti, but the picture painted on the observation deck was quite interesting, and I almost thought it was part of the original design.

Ascent time was 1 hour 10 minutes.