Lincoln National Forest, May 2021


That's Mr Asshole to you
This was a great trip and was awesome exploring a new place. This started near Carlsbad, NM and got onto the trails near Queen, NM and immediately dropped into Dark Canyon. Not sure of trail names but we passed Turkey Well and Horse Well. We followed a network of tight trails through some canyons, draws, and along dry creek beds. This led us to 540, a well maintained gravel road. It goes right along a rim and several spots to overlook the valley below.

Took road 201 off that and headed toward a lookout tower and find a camping spot. 201 is VERY rough and rocky. Make sure you aired way down, in 4 low, and everything is strapped down. I found 18 psi was too much in my tires and went down to 13 or 14. Also found out I didn't clearance enough in my fenders so the tires took care of that. We made it to the lookout and explored around the area. We also saw the smoke from the fire in Guadalupe Nation Park on the Texas side. We were only 20 or so miles from it. Camp that night was a few hundred yards past the tower and we were around 7000 feet elevation. Got freaked out from a pretty intense storm that just barely missed us. Found out the next day the storm had large hail, 60+ mph winds, and had produced a tornado.






You can see the smoke in the above pic




That's Mr Asshole to you
Next day led us back down 201 to get back to the park road. We took this down another part of the rim and then to a fairly good gravel road. We broke for lunch and talked about some options for the rest of the day. We decided to press on and get to Cloudcroft to camp near there. We took a few gravel roads that put us on pavement near Mayhill. I forgot to record my track this day so I am not sure of the route. It was kind of boring and we running 30-40mph most the way and it took us 2 hours.
Once in Cloudcroft we filled up with fuel and headed up 130, I think. We got onto a dirt road and found an empty campsite. Every few hundred yards were established sites but people were out for the holiday weekend so took some searching for a good spot. We found a good site and were around 9600 feet. No pictures since I failed miserably at pics this entire trip. It got cold that night but very welcome with how hot it was earlier in the day.

Did a quick hike near Cloudcroft to see an old trestle from a railroad that went through the area.
Also a great lookout that you can see White Sands in the distance.



Had pizza for lunch the last day at Cloudcroft Brewing Co. Great place with good food and beer.


That's Mr Asshole to you
Some take away for this trip. Bring plenty of water, extra fuel, and sunscreen. This area is very desolate. Near Carlsbad is more high desert terrain and near Cloudcroft is higher elevation and more mountains with aspen and fur trees, but is more crowded.


That's Mr Asshole to you
From my house to Carlsbad was about 440 miles. We drove about 50 miles to make it to the trails. Probably covered 50-60 miles of dirt the first day. I would say closer to 100 miles of dirt the next day. When we got to pavement it was about 50 miles to Cloudcroft. From there to my house it was about 550 miles.


Fuck Joe!
Cool area.. was stationed in Alamagordo for 3 years, it's about 16 miles from Cloudcroft.


Well-Known Member
Carlsbad was on my list of places to explore near TX. Though touristy, the Carlsbad Caverns seems like a worthwhile stop.


amateur professional
I put 1280 miles on my truck over this entire trip. It was a good time, the truck is still filthy and not unpacked yet. I will be back to visit the caverns for sure, but the rest of Carlsbad is a dump. Long way to drive just for the caverns!