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.
Went up to the Osha trail with my sister and we were both disappointed as the trail is heavily rock strewn. I am talking large rocks. Very treacherous footing and difficult to enjoy the scenery as we were always watching our footing. There are much better and more scenic trails in this area.
I'm a 53-year-old man who's not in the best of shape, but I was able to do this hike. I listened to my body, when it said break, I broke. Tricky knees and back made going downhill almost slower than up, so the whole trip took me five hours. But was it ever worth it! Beautiful scenery, even a few weeks before Spring. This West Texas resident was glad he made the effort!
I did spend a good while in a hot tub at the hotel when I got back.
The trail had nice views and was of moderate difficulty as marked. Turned and we went the way of the mine road back as on the map. The trail was not clearly marked so my son and I ended up walking down the side of the mountain through the trees to get back.
This was a very enjoyable hike, with lots of variance in terrain. Love the rocks, the overlooks, the narrow passes, the variety of plants and trees, even some places of ice and snow.
We are pretty experienced hikers and would definitely not rate this as an "easy" hike. The elevation, along with several extended uphill climbs, call for a degree of fitness that we would describe as moderate. The wear and tear on the trail made it appear as if most people hike to the first overlook and then return to the parking lot. That could be considered easy.
However, if one takes the entire 2.9 loop, we believe that it should be rated moderate. Climbing over downed trees and traversing narrow stretches that trace the top of steep valley rims are further evidence of the need for a moderate label.
Trekking poles are strongly suggested and solid footwear.