The Switchback Trail is a moderately difficult 3-mile loop constructed along portions of the former Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railroad. In the middle of the trail, there is one especially steep (35 percent grade) section, though it’s short.
It offers good views, scattered wooded areas and meadows with wildflowers in season. The lower end of this trail has a shelter and explanatory sign describing the historical switchback on the railroad which is in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The trail safely avoids US Highway 82 once by pedestrian bridge and, in another location, by culvert underneath the roadway. The bridge connects the trail with others in an 8-mile network, including the Cloud-Climbing Trestle Trail and its stunning views of the Mexican Canyon Trestle.
On the north end of Cloudcroft, a trailhead is available on Bailey Canyon Road, along US Highway 82.