Luna County Highpoint Trip Report

Cookes Peak

Date: November 6, 2007
Author: Charlie Winger

Access to Cookes Peak begins 14 miles northeast on NM-26 to county road A109 also signed as Cookes Canyon Road NE. The county road is easily identified by the 30 foot high water tower (?) on the opposite side of the road.

It is no longer necessary to obtain permission from Mr. Hyatt as a new road had been established by the BLM. This road circumvents the portion of the road approach which contained the locked gate and crossed Mr. Hyatt's property.

From NM-26, drive 10.3 miles (by my odometer) on county road A109 to a point where you will encounter a road leading to the left and a sign which reads "entering public lands". This is apparently where the old access road would have continued straight ahead. Turn left here. Follow the "new" road and keep left at any junction you encounter. Its about a mile to the point where I believe the old access road comes in from your right. Shortly, you will pass a windmill which is visible off to your left. It is approximately 1 mile from this point to your parking spot, which is located on a flat area to the left of the road and just past the now washed out 4WD road coming down from the ghost town. The parking spot is very near NAD27 datum 13S (245305 E, 3604499 N) at 6,030 feet.

I hiked up the washed out 4WD road keeping primarily to its right bank and then hiked in the streambed itself. Eventually a trail climbed out of the streambed to the right bank which I followed until I encountered a long talus field. I hiked/scrambled the talus field all the way up to the saddle. I encountered numerous cairns and surveyor's tape on bushes prior to reaching the talus field.

From the saddle, I followed the well-defined trail up to the summit scramble (which is easily avoided). This approach allowed me to summit in 1.5 hours of steady hiking from my vehicle.

Allow approximately 1 hour each way from NM-26 to the parking spot.