“The crown jewel trail of the Sacramento Ranger District.”
— Mark Wancho
Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The Rim Trail is open all year but becomes difficult to hike during the winter. Visitors may enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the winter.
This section of the Rim Trail from Cloudcroft to Karr Canyon is the most popular segment with easy access from the Villafe of Cloudcroft.
Need to Know
This hike can be completed as a full 22-mile out-and-back, or hikers can leave a retrieval vehicle at one of the access points like the nearby Upper Karr Recreation Area.
To access the trail, take NM130 south .8 miles. Turn left onto FR24B to find the trailhead. Other access points and trailheads can be found along the way.
The trail, which was the first USFS trail in New Mexico to gain the National Recreation Trail designation, is a combination of old homestead trails, logging routes, railroad grades, and Indian paths linked together. Much of the trail is located at elevations around 9,000 ft., so you may have to stop to catch your breath along the way.
This section of the trail has some rolling hills as you'll be gradually and steadily climbing along the way. The majority of the trail heads through shaded stands of pine, fir, and aspen which are particularly scenic during the fall. Along the way, hikers will enjoy views of the Tularosa Basin below.
There are some primitive dispersed (road-side) camping sites along the route, mostly where the trail crosses open roads.
Flora & Fauna
Pine, fir, and aspens all dot the way.