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Alamo Mountain, New Mexico 10/22/2016-10/24/2016

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Offline guc126

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Alamo Mountain, New Mexico 10/22/2016-10/24/2016
« on: November 02, 2016, 02:12:53 PM »
"This is the Otero Mesa area, east of the Ft. Bliss McGregor Range. It's also just west of the NM part of the Guadalupe Mountains. While it is remote from services it is relatively easy to access. Despite the excellent condition of the road network, it exhibits significant wilderness qualities and is a wonderful place to spend time....alone, because almost no one goes there and usually the only people you will see is the occasional rancher who leases the public land for grazing. Purists will be offended by the roads, fences and cattle, but that's their loss.

Since it is BLM land, there are no signs pointing you to it, so it's not overrun with tourists like NPS areas and you will have to figure out what to do without trail guides and interpretive signs.

It is a place you do not just happen upon on your way somewhere else; it is the destination. This is the kind of place that will make you question why you bother with national parks when you have thousands of acres entirely to yourself. It's a wild experience, not a managed one."
by presidio on January 28, 2009, 11:13:31 AM

Forgive the plagiarism but I could not have chosen better words to describe our brief visit to Otero Mesa last week. The visit was of a recon nature as my daughter and I had only one full day to experience this area, hardly scratching the surface. Our visit was limited to the Cornudas Mountains area. The Cornudas lie on the border between Texas and New Mexico. Alamo Mountain on the New Mexico side, known for its petroglyphs, was our destination.

The road network is extensive but not all roads are signed. Surfaces are in good condition but I would be very cautious on average road tires if entering the area by car via Dell City as we did.  10 plys on a 2 wheel drive pickup will get you just about anywhere in the Cornudas.  From the end of the pavement in Dell City it is approximately 40 miles to Alamo Mountain.

The Native American petroglyphs on Alamo Mountain are scattered throughout a much larger area as opposed to those at the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site and foot access on the slopes is rugged. Those we found are in its northern flank. You can approach from the signed parking area on the road marked F010 on the western flank or from the north along F007.  Some of the grasslands within the Cornudas Mountains area have been affected from grazing but we found excellent camping within existing grasslands immediately west of Flattop mountain along F014. The grasslands seem to be largely intact west to northwest of Alamo mountain. 

Fencing may be an impediment to long distance hiking in the Cronudas area but the gates within the BLM boundaries are unlocked. The Crow Flats topo map is a must carry to orient you around private holdings. Ranching is low density and cattle are not a problem as long as you avoid areas surrounding stock tanks.

The solitude and silence are unmatched. We encountered only a pair of hunters and a couple of ranchhands on the roads. The night sky is ablaze despite the proximity to El Paso/Juarez. The plan is to return in December for a longer, and hopefully cooler, stay. There is much more petroglyph material to survey on Alamo and possibly other areas in the Cornudas.

Cornudas seen from the Devil's Den area in the Guadalupe Mountains

Crossing the state line

Memorial to the crew members of a B-17 that crashed in the area in 1944

Cornudas mountain

Wind mountain

Alamo mountain silhouette

Alamo Mountain


Offline dprather

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Re: Alamo Mountain, New Mexico 10/22/2016-10/24/2016
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2016, 02:42:04 PM »
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.


Offline Jalco

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Re: Alamo Mountain, New Mexico 10/22/2016-10/24/2016
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2016, 08:22:06 PM »
Cool!  Thanks!


Offline backpacker56

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Re: Alamo Mountain, New Mexico 10/22/2016-10/24/2016
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2016, 09:30:59 PM »
Picture #7 looks like a scene from Africa, as I would imagine it. 

I've often been intrigued by these mountains, as seen from the air or the highway, or the topo map.  Cornudas Mountain to the north by itself, then Alamo, Flat Top, Deer, Wind, and Black.  Finally San Antonio, Washburn, and Chattfield.  My Mountains of the Moon.  Not really high, but most are pretty definite peaks, of volcanic origin.  San Antonio at 7023 and Wind at 7280 are somewhat like twins.  "Wind Mountain"; there's a name to seize the imagination.  Probably just called that by some cowboy who found the wind particularly forceful there.

It's funny that just week before last, in the Guadalupes, I met by chance a fellow who told me excitedly about Cornudas, and what a great area it was. 

Thanks for the great report and photos.
"Ah, sure, I'm a gnawed old bone now, but say, don't you guys think the spirit's gone!"


Offline mule ears

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Re: Alamo Mountain, New Mexico 10/22/2016-10/24/2016
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2016, 01:56:44 AM »
Sweet, looks like you found plenty of petroglyphs!

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