Hiking Ortega Peak in Alamogordo

“Don’t Miss” Desert Mountain Hiking in New Mexico

One of the best kept secrets about Alamogordo, New Mexico is its hiking trails, which are virtually invisible as you drive through the town. Fortunately, I’ve met some great people in the Alamogordo Trails Meetup Group who are willing to share their treasure trove of trails.

Here’s what we saw on this Saturday’s hike:

Here we are just taking off from the edge of town.

Just taking off from the edge of town, walking up a canyon dry fall.













We usually start at the end of town, but it doesn’t take long until we’re up in the foothills. Some days there are less than five of us on the hike and on others there are 20 or 30 people, ready for some on- and off-trail scrambling. Maybe even a little canyoneering.

About 30 minutes into the hike and we're rounding the base of the mountains.

Less than an hour into the hike. Greener than you’d think for a high desert climate.













After hiking up to the ridge line, we moved off trail and down into a canyon. There is no easy way down and there’s no point in turning around if you don’t like the looks of the drop. You just have to pick a careful route. I hate steep cliffs, but kept my eyes on my boots and all was fine.

We climbed down into canyons and back up at least three times. Good cardio.

We climbed down and back up at least three times. That’s me in the blue t-shirt. Great workout!

























There is also plenty of climbing. Talk about getting that upper body workout while you’re seeing beautiful sights. A 30-foot hand-to-hand climb and your heart rate is right up there in the cardio zone.

My friend taking a breather. Rugged gloves are a must on scrambles.

My friend taking a breather. Rugged gloves are a must on scrambles.



















Our group includes people from 25ish to 70 years old and I’m in awe of their fitness levels. We’re all so delighted at the beauty around us that the hike is always one big endorphin rush.

in the valley

Taking a break after a descent. Photos courtesy of our fellow hiker, Whit.


















There are no signs to mark these trails. This is a part of Alamogordo I would never know existed without the Meetup group.

view at last

Heading back home. A look-back to where we just were. Beautiful!














Next hike up? A nine-hour hike next Saturday to summit Ortega Peak. I love it!


Categories: Fitness

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2 replies

  1. Absolutely beautiful!


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