Capitan Peak in Capitan Wilderness

11:00 a.m. on March 15, 2014 (EDT)
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I recently hiked to the top of Capitan Peak which is located in the Capitan Wilderness are of the Lincoln National Forest.  The hike started at the trailhead at an elevation of 6300 ft and ended at 10,080 ft over 6.5 miles one way.


The peak is in the center of the photo.  The peak to the left is named Sunset.


The trailhead marker indicated it is 7 miles to the top.  My gps indicated 6.47mi


Some interesting rock formations.  The range was hit by wildfires back in 2004.  


Rock formation known as Chimney Rock.  The trail is faintly visible on the left side of the photo.  As I approached 9000 ft it became more wooded and the trail more overgrown.  It doesn't appear that the USFS is doing much to maintain the trail.



On the summit looking towards the west.  The snow capped peak is Sierra Blanca.  What is interesting about the Capitan range is that it is oriented east/west unlike other typical mountains ranges which are oriented north/south



Behind me, Roswell, NM lies 70 miles to the east and 6,400 ft lower in elevation


Thanks for looking!

12:56 a.m. on March 17, 2014 (EDT)
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Nice pics.  Thanks for sharing.  Was it a day hike?  Your last pic looks like a good place to camp out and watch for UFO's.  ;-)

5:30 a.m. on March 17, 2014 (EDT)
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It was a day hike/scouting trip.  I did notice several spots on the way up to the top where a small tent or bivy could be set up.  Just below the summit from where the pick was taken, was a windbreak someone had established using limbs from the pine trees.  The ground was cleared and flat and large enough for a small one or two man tent, a tarp or bivy/tarp, etc.  The only problem is there are no reliable water sources.  At about mile 3, I noticed a very small spring at one of the switchbacks.  Enough water existed that the ground was wet but I did not locate any "pooled" water.  

9:08 a.m. on March 17, 2014 (EDT)
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Cool Rob, thanks for the new views!

9:20 a.m. on March 17, 2014 (EDT)
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In re to the UFOs, I forgot to mention that Holloman AFB is on the other side of Sierra Blanca and the F22s fly from there on a regular basis. You never really see them but you hear the sonic booms since they're designed to fly missions at supersonic speeds. So with that to the west and Roswell to the east, there should be plenty of nighttime activity!

3:01 p.m. on March 17, 2014 (EDT)
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Nice report, Rob! Thanks for sharing!

June 20, 2019
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