McKinley County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: December 5, 2004
Author: Ken Jones

Comments Regarding Access

I have received a communication from the Forest Service in Grants, NM, in response to a query. My Mt. Taylor Ranger District map, dated 1992, shows a checkerboard land ownership pattern in the vicinity of the McKinley county highpoint in the Cerros de Alejandro. The actual highpoint at benchmark "Alejan" is shown on that map as federal land under the jurisdiction of the USFS.

However, a communication from the district ranger's office in Grants indicates that a land exchange was consummated in the area in early 2001. Section 34 of T 14 N, R 6 W is no longer federal land. The USFS owns the area to the west of this section but there is a fence between Sections 33 and 34. I've tried contacting the new owner (L-Bar Ranch, P.O. Box 1535, Lovington, NM 88260) to inquire about recreational access to the highpoint but received no reply to my letter.

Future visitors should be aware that the highpoint is posted and attempt to gain permission from the L-Bar Ranch. Furthermore, you should also be aware that the spur road heading from FR 239 toward the peak is closed to motorized travel under a Closure Order dated April 9, 2001. You should plan to walk from FR 239 if permission to pass the fence is obtained.