Cloud-Climbing Trestle Trail

New Mexico

7 Reviews

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Cloud-Climbing Trestle Trail Facts

States: New Mexico
Counties: Otero
Length: 1 miles
Trail end points: US 82 and NM 130 and Mexican Canyon Trestle
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016589

Cloud-Climbing Trestle Trail Description

Cloud-Climbing Trestle Trail, sometimes referred to as the Mexican Canyon Trestle Trail for the landmark feature at its end, offers a moderately challenging, but beautiful, climb through the Trestle Recreation Area in Cloudcroft. The mile-long trail begins at a replica railway depot and follows the former Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railroad. Its first half-mile is paved; the remainder is a dirt pathway.

As it winds through crisp firs and pines, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the White Sands dunes and distant San Andreas Mountains. Along the way, it passes the remains of the "S" trestle, which once contained two 30-degree curves. A sign displays a photograph of what the bridge once looked like.

Farther on is the Mexican Canyon Trestle, built in 1889 and on the National Register of Historic Places. At 323 feet long and the height of a six-story building, the wooden trestle is quite stunning. An overlook offers views of the trestle and surrounding Lincoln National Forest.

The trail is part of an 8-mile loop that includes another rail-trail, the Switchback Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

A trailhead, parking, and restrooms are available at the junction of US 82 and NM 130 in Cloudcroft; follow signs for the railway depot.

Cloud-Climbing Trestle Trail Reviews

History, scenic views

I did the Mexican Canyon trestle trail twice this summer. The second time I took two friends with me, who enjoy hiking and history. This trail is a mile long, with one short descent and ascent around a patch of private property, making this NOT a near-level trail. Historic plaques and views of the White Sands in the distance, make this worth experiencing.

While one can do this trail as a quick two-mile out-and-back trail, this trail is part of a network of trails in the Trestle Recreation Area. Grab a map at the replica depot and create your own four, six, or even eight-mile hike around historic former railroad grades.

In the three days we spent around Cloudcroft, we also hiked the Switchback trail, Old Cloudcroft Highway, and the Osha trail, all easily accessible near Cloudcroft.

If you plan on parking at the Replica depot, remember that it's closed for the season from I October to 1 March, but all trails are still accessible via other trail heads. The replica depot parking area closes at 6pm during the season, so if you plan on a long hike, park in town and walk in. The hosts promptly close the parking lot at 6pm.

Great hiking trail

Beautiful scenery, well-marked trail, great for hiking with few, if any, bikes. The trestle is historical and interesting.

Wishful thinking

Spent a day checking out the four trails listed near Cloudcroft, NM. Couldn't get onto much of a trail when we went to Cloudcroft. Even the ranger station in Cloudcroft didn't know much about the trails. Did walk on a pathway for a little ways after parking on the side of the highway that goes through town, but to think about riding a bike, forget it. We did enjoy the fudge we bought at the Apple Barn though.

Best as a hike; Trail surface was loose golf ball size rocks and rugged for bikes

April 2013 we rode (mostly walked) our mountain bikes in the Trestle trail section by the Depot Replica just southwest of Cloudcroft NM. This trail has wonderful access to the Mexican canyon and "s" trestles. Having ridden close to 30 rail trails in the USA I was not expecting the trail bed to be primarily loose golf ball size rock. Far more conducive to hiking than biking for the average family. Perhaps in the past the surface was less loose rocks but there is a drought in the area and it likely may have taken its toll on the trail bed.


Trestle Recreation Area

Nice area with Replica Railroad Depot, Water Fountain, Picnic & Port-A-Potties.
( N32.95742 W105.74996 ). An excellent, short asphalt loop trail, 0.25 mile, that leads to the “Devil’s Elbow Overlook” and view of “White Sands Missile Range”. Access to Trestle Trail is to steep and rough for Tri-Cruiser. Noel Keller 19 May 09

Cloud-Climbing Rail Trail

"As a member of the El Paso Ridgewalkers, I have hiked this trail many times. There are many photos of this trail, both summer and autumn. I have photos of the Mexican Canyon Trestle, and the collasped S-Trestle. The web address is"

Cloud Climbing Trail

We have just returned from the Cloud-Climbing Trail in Cloud Croft. I was so pleased with our trip and the trail. It is one of the best trails that I have been on. The sights were just simply awesome. I was so pleased to be on a Rails to Trails. I hope to go on more trails such as this one.

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