Luna County High Point Trip Report

Cookes Peak

Date: June 3, 2000
Author: Jobe Wymore

The driving directions in Lawrence Parent's book, "Hiking New Mexico", are great. They roughly say from I-25 in Deming to head north on US180 towards Silver City. After about 1 mile on US180 you are to turn right onto NM26 and drive towards Hatch. Hit your odometer once you turn onto NM26 and at around 14.6 miles you will come to a dirt road on your left. There is an old house on the corner by the dirt road. Turn left onto it. Hit the odometer again and at around 5.1 miles continue straight pass the Hyatt Ranch Road that forks off to your left. Around 9.8 you'll drive over a desert wash and again ignore a road that forks off to your left right before you hit the wash. About 11 miles down this dirt road you will come to a locked gate. The last 1+ miles before the gate are a little rougher than the previous miles but, a sedan should be able to squeak through it.

Hike about 2 miles up the dirt road till you come up to a torn up dirt road on your left that angles towards Cookes Peak which is obvious from the start. I marked this washed out road with a huge cairn at its corner and also by it is a limited trail use sign. This probably was an old mining road but it is severely washed out in places. Head on up the washed out road for a while till the road takes an obvious left turn. Look for a cairn at this point also. From here head straight up the canyon in front of you towards Cookes Peak. You'll hit a small creek bed and follow it up, hitting scattered cairns every now and then. There is an animal use trail that skirts the creek bed most of the way that makes following it pretty easy.

You'll come to a point where the creek bed starts to get more and more overgrown and your instincts will take over and lead you toward your left, route picking your way up to the top of the ridge. Once on the ridge follow it until you hit the summit of Cookes Peak. Along the ridge, as you get closer to the top, a few cairns will start to pop-up to direct your way. The peak looks a little tough from down below but once close to the top you realize it's completely safe. The views are great. I left a bottle register by a cairn that is close to some bushes on the summit. Have fun on this one.