|If you hike this trail, you will encounter a pleasant canyon that can take you all the way to Hillsboro Peak or other places in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness.|
|Hike data||Waypoints||Maps||Getting to the trailhead||About the hike||Plants along the trail||Comments|
When we hiked it:
|Time it took us:||3:23.|
|RRCYNTH||Trailhead||Railroad Canyon trailhead|
|RRCYNY1||Trail junction||Junction of Railroad Canyon trail and forest trail 129 (through Gallinas Canyon)|
|RRCYNY2||Trail junction||Junction of Railroad canyon trail and trail to the Black Range Crest and Holden Prong Saddle|
|Map name||Cartographer||Year||Scale||Topo map?||Online access||Notes|
|Aldo Leopold Wilderness||US Forest Service||1984||1:63360||Y||From Amazon (purchase)|
|Gila National Forest||US Forest Service||1997||1:126720||N||from Amazon (purchase)||South half|
|Wildernesses of New Mexico||US Forest Service||1981||1:1000000||N||No online copies.||Base map with national forests, wilderness areas and highways.|
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Getting to the trailhead:
From I-25, take exit 63 toward Hillsboro. In this town at the junction of NM 152 and NM 27 we set our odometer to 0. Drive an additional 21 miles. You will see a sign indicating 129 is to the right. This is the trailhead.
About the hike:
The trail starts out as a road, but large rocks at the trailhead prevent cars from driving it. Photo by Diana Northup.
Keep your eyes open and you can see lots of flowers and interesting insects, such as this spotless lady bettle.
This trail is relatively flat and flanked by lots of tall trees. Being in a canyon makes getting GPS satellites challenging.
The trail has several easy stream crossings; whether or not there is water depends on the season and precipitation over the last several months. In a time of high water, these crossings could be challenging. As you can see here, when we hiked this trail, the stream was low and calm.
After about 1.75 miles, you come to a junction with trail 129 through Gallinas canyon, with the crest of the Black Range four miles up this trail (GPS: RRCYNY1). Remaining on the Railroad Canyon trail, Hillsboro peak is 5.5 miles.
Other canyons join the one you are in as you continue you slow pace up the hill. After about 2.5 miles, you come to another junction (GPS: RRCYNY2). Railroad canyon and the trail to Hillsboro peak (4.75 mi) head up to the right. Continuing straight would take you to the Black Range Crest in about 2.25 miles or Holden Prong Saddle at about 1.5 miles further. From this point, the trails begin to climb more steeply. Out of time, we turned around.
This soggy bat was in a pool, unable to get out. All three of us have had preventative rabies shots, so, using some improvised tools, Jim (carefully) helped the bat get out of the pool. Remember that any animal that you can approach is probably sick, and you do not want to get that sickness. Some, such as plague or rabies, can kill you. This bat is probably a fringed myotis.
Here is another reason to keep your eyes out. In a crevice in a ponderosa, several (harmless) Daddy Longlegs (also known as Harvestmen) were hanging out. This one has a parasitic mite on it (the red bump).
Plants we saw along the trail:
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