Explore the most popular trails near Capitan with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Capitan, New Mexico Map
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very overgrown. trail completely disappears in many places

Took 4 people in Polaris Ranger. Great day trip. Went in early July 5 years ago. Preparing to take friends again very soon.

Not too bad of a trail. Doesn’t look like it is hiked very much and isn’t kept up. It will however kick your ass. I hike a few times a month and I couldn’t walk right for 2 days after tackling this beast.

ALOT of down trees! Bring water!

hiking
Thursday, September 07, 2017

A friend & I decided to try this again. Last year we were stopped by a ferocious afternoon rain storm.

The first part is fairly straight forward and the trail easy to follow. After the first couple of miles and first major bend, the trail becomes difficult to see and remains that way off and on throughout. The higher one goes, the more frequency the trail is obscured by shrubs, aspens, etc. It is painfully obvious that there has been no trail work done in years, perhaps even more than a decade. The constant thickets one encounters sometimes pushes you off the trail, which can be quite precarious as there is very little level land and talus slopes or narrow bands of mud are the only way through. Compounding this in our trip was the rain. Throughout our 11 hour hike, at least 7 hours were spent in varying degrees of rain intensity. The talus slopes especially were treacherous, both up and down. To be frank, I am amazed neither of us sprained our ankles. Adding to the difficulty were the trees in the middle of the visible or non-visible trail. We had to go over or under at least 75 of them, both on the way up and down. At times we were having to cross several at the same time. Other times we were given only a few steps of respite before another fallen giant was in our way. This became exhausting and time consuming, not to mention slippery, due to the rain. An added insult were the various sized branches sticking from these trees, constantly poking and prodding and drawing blood.
We did finally manage to reach the top, only to see........fog....really thick fog...trail-obscuring fog. While not able to enjoy the view, we did have a tremendous sense of accomplishment. However, the temperature was dropping rapidly ( 52 degrees the last time we checked ), the wind was increasing and we were soaked. At this point we had to rely on a compass to get back down, eventually intersecting with the trail again.
On the way up and down, there were some spectacular views ( wish we could see them from the summit ). Another bonus ( or detriment, depending on one's situation ) was the isolation. We saw no one. Even on the road to the trailhead there was no one. With that said, until this trail has some major and time-consuming repairs done to it, I would only recommend this loop for very experienced and fit hikers. We had luck, some skill and stubbornness on our side, but truth be told there were times when we were both worried and completely exhausted. During those times, luck can run out. Thankfully it did not for us.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I hiked this trail in March. The trail was pretty overgrown with thorn bushes. I made it 5 miles before my dog and I could not cross the amount of dead and fallen trees. It was a fun hike but I was wearing shorts and by the time I got back to the trailhead my legs were scratched pretty badly and every step hurt. The trail needs some serious maintenance and the final mile or two towards Capitan Peak were not passable without doing some 'balance beam' moves over the downed trees.

hiking
Sunday, March 26, 2017

Poor trail markings, tons of downed trees.

hiking
Sunday, March 05, 2017

trail head is very difficult to find. Goat springs trial is very scenic and it is only 1.3 miles of the hike up. the rest of the way to the top is a two track with limited views. lots of deer and wildlife running about at higher elevation. be sure to have good means to navigate as there are many turns along the way. the summit was rewarding also with limited views. Sign the logbook inside the large nearby cairn. 10.4 miles round trip!

backpacking
Sunday, February 26, 2017

hiking
Friday, June 24, 2011

Enjoy all the trails in the area but really love the Blue Front Tr. It is a very quiet trail and have seen lots of wildlife every time we go. Also check out the old cabin and the mine close to the trail. Saw an owl, elk and lots of other birds. Some parts require a bit of pulling yourself up to the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
Sunday, September 17, 2017

hiking
Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday, April 03, 2017

hiking
Saturday, March 25, 2017