Luna County Highpoint Trip Report
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.