The Lincoln consists of three ranger districts: Sacramento, Smokey Bear and Guadalupe. There are three major mountain ranges: Sacramento, Guadalupe and Capitan that cover 1,103,441 acres in parts of four counties in southeastern New Mexico. Elevations range from 4,000 to 11,500 feet and pass through five different life zones from Chihuahuan desert to sub-alpine forest. Vegetation types are very diverse across the Forest and range from rare cacti in the lower elevations to Englemann spruce in the higher.
This was mine and my wife's first ever trail to hike, and it was awesome! It's the perfect mix of wilderness without feeling "lost".
The trail was very clear, and the ability to follow fellow hikers past path through this app to make sure you're on track gave us peace of mind that we were still going strong!
Challenging loop. Steady climb for the first 3 miles, flattens out for a couple of miles, then after the sharp right turn around mile 5 the trail switchbacks up again. At 5.25 miles, the trail becomes significantly steeper with an elevation gain of 600'. Ive only done this loop twice now and have had to walk most of the distance between mile 5.25 and mile 6. After peaking, however, the trail is downhill for the remaining 4 miles. Just be careful not to eat it by heading downhill too fast as you'll likely be a little less coordinated due to the previous uphill. Love this course!
This is not an "extremely difficult" trail. Well, at least the first 3.25 miles HA HA. There is about a 2.6k ft elevation gain in the first 3 miles but there are some good flat spots and scenic stops to keep your motivation up. The trails are marked well and the views of the canyon and to the S/SW are amazing. I'll definitely be going up here to camp and look at the stars soon. Absolutely recommend.
We went up Telephone canyon, which I imagine would have been beautiful before the fire, but was mostly sad. The crest trail gave us a view of the other side of the mountain that was beautiful. The miner's road was beautiful with fall colors, but the rocks were too big to step on like gravel and too small to go from rock to rock...it's an ankle twisting nightmare. The last stretch down Eagle Creek was gorgeous and made us glad to be finishing on a high note. Overall, this was a nice hike. The gate was closed to the little community of cabins around the trailheads, so it adds an extra mile (1/2 mile in, 1/2 mile out) to the hike.
Trail was fairly challenging. The elbow can make you a little nervous. So if you think the first mile is tough be sure to turn around before the elbow. Did the whole trail + went to the high peak for an overlook of white sands in 9 hours. Start early, bring lots of water, food, and I recommend walking sticks. Loved this trail!
This is a nice walk, not too long or steep. We walked the entire loop on a Friday in October and saw no other hikers. Good views of Aspen and Pine trees. Also, we saw a few turkey. The trail is simply an old road that has had motorized traffic removed. Be sure you now where you are going, the start of the trail has NO Sign!
Enjoyed a wonderful 5 mile hike with our 7 and 9 yr old. Never too steep. Would be great to mountain bike this trail also! Passed 4 other hikers and two bikers and a dog. Gorgeous views. Lovely shade in places. Newly made trails (2015 & 2016). Would love to return!
The trail is great, however it's not worth doing an out and back when you can do a loop and see more stuff. Instead of backtracking to the start, just take the road west at the end of the trail (Upper Rio Penasco) all the way to the Water Canyon Road/trail. Canyon Water will get you back to the Willie White starting point and cover new ground along the way (including Bluff Springs, which is awesome). Plus, this also saves you from going back up the mountain, only to descend back to your starting point.