One Tree Peak • Highpoint: Chaves County
• (East) Sacramento Mountains

N.M. PageMain Page

Date: March 17, 2000 • Elevation: 7,089 feet • Prominence: 649 feet • Distance: 4 miles • Time: 1 hours and 15 minutes • Gain: 900 feet • Conditions: Pleasant

One Tree Peak is the highest point in Chaves County, located in an appendage of the county that extends southwest into the Sacramento Mountains. It's a hilly mound, covered in juniper and pine, and were it not for its county highpoint status, not a remarkable peak at all.

I was finishing up a few days of hiking and driving, visiting the flat county highpoints in eastern new Mexico. I also dodged a late-Winter snowstorm which forced me to drive farther south than I had planned. So I toured the Carlsbad Caverns, among other things. Earlier today, I had hiked Dog Canyon Overlook, the highpoint of Eddy County.

I drove west through Artesia along US-82, aiming for Cloudcroft. At the small town of Dunken, I went south on state route NM-24, then onto Cuevo Canyon Road (dirt) west into the hills. Another eight miles later, I went south on Chimney Lake Road, then followed that to Sunflower Canyon, and parked. It was about 4 p.m., the weather pleasant and steady, a nice change after yesterday's fast-moving storm.

One Tree Peak sits back about a mile from the road, forming the peak above the headwall of Sunflower Canyon. The area is fenced and is used for grazing, but there were no signs on the fence, no cattle anywhere, and nobody around to tell me to get lost. So I hopped the fence and started walking at a fast pace.

I walked east, following tire ruts and within 15 minutes, had arrived to the base of the peak. I then charged uphill, wending my way through the sporadic trees. The grades were easy at first, then a little steeper higher up. The last couple-hundred feet of gain was along steeper, grassier slopes. But it was all very easy, and I was on top at 4:40 p.m., a 900 foot gain from my truck.

The summit was as expected: a small hump of grass and rocks. In the register were the same four names as were in the Eddy County register earlier today, so I added mine. The views were nice, with flat plains to the east, lots of hills and bigger peaks north and west. I stayed here ten minutes before moving down. The hike out was quick and I was back to my truck by 5:15 p.m.. Although it was still light, the sun was now behind the western peaks and I wanted to be back onto paved highway before dark, which at this time of year came quickly.

I stayed on the main road as it followed a circular clock-wise route through forest, hills and occasional ranch properties. The drive went slow, and it was nearly dark when I finally arrived back on the paved roads near Cloudcroft. I descended the highway down into Alamogordo and stayed there for the night, driving home the next day, the end of a successful trip into New Mexico.

(c) 2000, 2016 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.