[cdt-l] New Mexican Border

Lawton Grinter lawtong at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 28 13:27:30 CST 2007

FT, I had the pleasure of hiking the signed . . . I repeat signed . . . CDTA 
route to the Mexican Border (Crazy Cook Monument) this past November when I 
finished the CDT with 5 others.  We were southbound so we walked from 
Hachita via the paved road (State Road 81) to the 12-mile windmill where the 
newly signed CDTA route heads southeast 28 miles towards the east wall of 
the bootheel to finish at the Crazy Cook Monument.  This 28-mile section of 
trail goes thru the Big Hatchet Mountains and was a highlight for me not 
only for New Mexico but for the entire trip.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.  And in 
November of 2006, the entire 28-miles of trail had CDT signs the whole way.

That being said . . . you'd need someone with a vehicle to get you back to 
the starting point.  When we hiked back there the gravel/dirt road to the 
border had just been graded and was in stellar condition.  A 2-wheel drive 
car could have easily made it back there.  I've been told though that the 
road can get in bad shape though.  And apparently there are 2 roads back to 
the starting point.  The CDTA Guidebook for New Mexico along with Jon Ley's 
most recent map of the area recommend taking a road that is just south of 
the Big Hatchet mountains back to the starting point.

The gravel/dirt road that I referred to above is just NORTH of the Big 
Hatchets and it coincides with the trail for a number of miles before the 
trail heads up Sheridan Canyon via a sandy wash.  Jim & Ginny Owen have a 
great map of this road and trail route on their website here:


Sheridan Canyon Windmill provides water in this section, but I HIGHLY 
RECOMMEND plugging in the GPS coordinates of this windmill (they are in the 
CDTA NM Guidebook) since this windmill can be a bit tricky to locate.  Jim & 
Ginny also have GPS coordinates for this windmill and others on their 
website here:


And then approximately 2 miles from the Mexican Border there is a windmill 
that is reported to have good water when it is spinning.  When we were there 
it wasn’t spinning and the water in the tank looked less than appetizing.

One thing I can say for sure is this.  The Columbus route and Antelope Wells 
route are on paved roads.  The CDTA route is not.  I for one prefer anything 
but paved roads on a long distance hike.  The CDTA route is very scenic and 
well worth the effort to get back to . . . to start the CDT or finish the 
CDT.  If you choose to take the CDTA route, at a minimum carry the Jon Ley 
maps or Jim & Ginny maps for this section.  And don’t freak out about water, 
there’s water back here and there’s also Border Patrol monitoring these 
roads.  Go for it!

Bryan Martin, Field Operations Manager, at CDTA is also a good contact about 
this route if you need additional questions answered.  His e-mail is 
bryan at cdtrail.org

Best, Disco


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