Ascent of Sierra Grande on 2012-08-17

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, August 17, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sierra Grande
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:8720 ft / 2657 m

Ascent Trip Report

As others have noted, there are two ways to do this peak--a 4wd track going to the top starting at a ranch near Des Moines, and a public access road and hike starting from the east side of the mountain. I tried the ranch, but nobody was home and I didn't feel comfortable crossing their land without permission.

My experience on the public access road matched Dennis Poulin's recent description (and earlier descriptions) with two provisos. At the t about 0.9 mi. in I turned left not right. I also missed the final turn about 3/4 mi. se of the start point. I found it on the way back after a prairie detour. It's marked with a rock cairn. As others note this road is both rough and sometimes difficult to follow where grass has grown into what was only ruts across the prairie to begin with. GPS helps.

The hike up is pretty straightforward. I veered slightly south of a straight line from my parking spot to the peak to avoid some gullies (or arroyos as they're called in these parts) and a slightly gentler upslope than the most direct bearing. From the top you get a clear sense that you're in a transition zone where the plains meet the Rockies.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1545 ft / 470 m
    Total Elevation Loss:61 ft / 17 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.2 mi / 8.4 km
    Route Conditions:
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1497 ft / 456 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1484 ft / 452 m; Extra: 13 ft / 3m
    Loss on way in:13 ft / 3 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Start Trailhead:NM hunting access rd.  7236 ft / 2205 m
    Time:1 Hours 27 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:48 ft / 14 m
    Gain on way out:48 ft / 14 m
    Distance:2.7 mi / 4.3 km
    Time:1 Hours 14 Minutes

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