Sierra County High Point Trip Report

McKnight Mountain

Date: May 12, 2001
Author: Ken Jones

From the junction of NM highways 152 and 35, head north on SR 35. At 12.25 miles, you'll reach the signed McKnight Road on your right. Reset your odometer, turn right, and follow McKnight Road (FR 152) across the Mimbres River (this is a ford), past some private houses, and up onto a ridge. This is an excellent gravel road. About 7.5 to 8 miles from the highway, the road drops to the right off the ridge, and gets rougher. At 8.6 to 8.7 miles, you'll reach a fork. Bear left, staying on McKnight Road (signed). In the next 3 miles or so, you'll climb to a higher ridge. This section of the road would be best with high clearance, although I coaxed a rental Ford Escort up it. I wouldn't try it without 4WD if it's very wet. If you make it through the first 3 miles from the fork, you should be able to get to road's end. At 8.3 miles from the fork you'll see a "Forest Trail" sign on the left, pointing to the signed "Pretty Canyon" trail. In another quarter mile (about 17.3 miles from the highway) you'll find a broad, flat area to park on the right side of the road, and the signed Crest Trail. I parked here; an alternative is to continue on the road about another 1/3 mile to McKnight Fire Cabin. The trail behind the cabin will save you perhaps 1/4 mile hiking, but at a cost of another 80 feet of gain.

Follow the Crest Trail north. You'll pass the signed but obscure Water Canyon trail junction in a bit under a mile (the signs say 1.2 miles; I think that's high), and about a mile and a half from the car a signed ("McKnight Mountain") spur leads right to the SE summit. This is the HP of Sierra county, and one of two Grant county possibilities. There is a tiny register hidden beneath the highest rock.