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A Trail (T119)

Difficult
 4.2 (6)

Tough on the legs, easy on the eyes. One of the quickest ascents in the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains


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Map Key

4.9

Miles

7.8

KM

Point to Point

7,388' 2,252 m

High

4,599' 1,402 m

Low

2,835' 864 m

Up

167' 51 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Views · Wildlife

There are two steel gates on the lower section of trail and between the gates is private property. These gates are designed to keep ATVs and motorized traffic off of the property. Hikers, bikers and runners are allowed to pass through. It would be wise to stay on the trail in this section especially.

Description

Named for the giant "A" on the cliff created with painted boulders and rocks.

The lower trailhead is not easy to find for the untrained hiker or runner that is unfamiliar with the area. Parking just south of the arroyo on Paiute Trail, the large "A" on the side of the foothills will be visible. There is a blank brown trail marker at the trailhead in the arroyo. This section will wind up toward the foothills and a steel gate to the base of the "A."

The real climbing starts pretty early with a section of rocky slab to the top of the "A". Views from the top of this section are instantaneous and pretty incredible at sunset. Continuing to climb up steep, rocky and sometimes washed out trail; there is another steel gate to go through about 0.5 mi above the top of the "A".

Through the gate you'll continue to climb until you hit mile 3, where you'll find a cattle tank and corral on the south side of the trail. Beyond the tank, the trail begins to turn into narrow gravel and cinder forest road. This section rolls a little smoother and provides some respite from the climb.

The upper TH is signed and is located at a confluence with Dry Canyon (T5574) and Warnock Mine Trail. If you stick to the widest track heading uphill there is another 0.2 mi to the upper parking area at Westside Road, you'll see the Dry Canyon (T5574) trailhead sign near the developed and maintained forest road.

Flora & Fauna

Cacti, yucca, ocotillo etc. with pinon and juniper as you climb. Rabbits, quail, road runner, owls, coyote, mule deer and elk have all been spotted from this trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Eric Borer

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 6 votes

#2

in Alamogordo

#8240

Overall
  4.2 from 6 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#2

in Alamogordo

#130

in New Mexico

#8,240

Overall
35 Views Last Month
1,977 Since Jan 20, 2017
Difficult

0%
0%
14%
0%
86%
0%

Photos

Long climb on the "A" Trail at sunset.
Jan 20, 2017 near Alamogordo, NM
Beginning of the trail and the big A
Jun 9, 2018 near Alamogordo, NM
First gate just before the climb to the top of the "A".
Jan 20, 2017 near Alamogordo, NM

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Feb 14, 2020
Justin Crispin
Jun 30, 2019
Chris Brown
Hiked up to Ortega Peak. There's no trail up to the summit, which makes the final ascent portion tricky. Great views though 8mi — 4h 10m
Jun 9, 2019
Emily Lobacz
Rocky, technical in parts, but easy to follow. 2.5mi — 0h 48m
Mar 29, 2019
Bianca McParlane
Feb 10, 2018
Sebastien Nicolas
The low part on the north require attention not to wrist an ankle as it is in the river bed.
Mar 10, 2017
Anthony Manalo
4.1mi