The 4.75-mile-long trail begins the ascent of Water Canyon Mesa from an elevation of 6,800 feet at the trailhead, traverses the east and west rims on the top of the mesa at an elevation of 8,200 feet, and then retraces 2.5 miles of its original route back to the trail head.
From the trail head the trail begins a moderate ascent to a level bench above FR 235. The trail follows the bench in a southerly direction crossing several drainages before it intersects an old trail from the west. The old trail is closed and blocked with debris. Trail 13 turns east at this signed junction and begins a moderate ascent to another level bench. Walking is easy for approximately 1.25 mile on the bench then the trail enters a rock arroyo and begins a long moderate ascent as it winds in and out of the arroyo. Near the upper end of the arroyo the trail makes a sharp left turn and begins a short but steep ascent with switchbacks. The tread surface consists of loose small rock fragments in this area and caution should be used when descending this part of the trail especially when carrying a heavy pack. Hikers should wear durable boots and bring plenty of water and snacks.
Evelyn Byrd, a member of the NMT Search and Rescue Club will lead this hike. Views at the top of the mesa are stunning. As always, registration is required by emailing Melissa Begay firstname.lastname@example.org or stopping by the gym office.
Sunday, April 22, 2018
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