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Baylor Peak

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Baylor Peak

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: New Mexico, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 32.39318°N / 106.57804°W

Object Title: Baylor Peak

GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map

Date Climbed/Hiked: Feb 14, 2016

Activities: Mountaineering

Season: Winter

 

Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Mar 26, 2016 / Mar 26, 2016

Object ID: 967975

Hits: 834 

Page Score: 83.69%  - 17 Votes 

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Overview

Baylor Peak (7721 ft) is the northern-most peak of Organ Mountains, a small range that rises to the east of the city of Las Cruces in southern New Mexico. A trail starts at Baylor Canyon Road Trailhead (4880 ft) on the west side of the mountains and goes to the 6390 ft Baylor Pass and then descends to Aguirre Spring Trailhead (5660 ft) on the east side of the mountains. From Baylor Pass, a beaten path can be followed to the summit of Baylor Peak.

This beautiful peak was well visible from the house we rented near the Organ Mountains. Unlike some of the other jagged nearby peaks that seemed to be technical climbs, Baylor Peak appeared to be a hike.




The northeast face of Baylor Peak from Route 70 east of San Augustin Pass





The southwest face of Baylor Peak

Hike Statistics

Place
Elevation
Distance
Baylor Canyon Road Trailhead
4880 ft
zero miles
Baylor Pass
6390 ft
3.55 miles
Baylor Peak
7721 ft
0.90 miles
Total One Way
-
4.45 miles


Baylor Peak GPS Track
My GPS Track on Google Earth



Trip Report

Sunday February 14, 2016
Left the house we had rented near the Organ Mountains after 7 a.m. Sunrise was at 6:50 but since I was on the west side of the mountains, the sun did not get to shine on me until much later. It was only a 7 mile drive to the Baylor Pass Trailhead on Baylor Canyon Road. There was a tent at the trailhead and someone was sleeping in it. I started my hike at 7:30. It was in lower 40s degrees Fahrenheit.

Baylor Peak was right in front of me to the east. Because I was in the shade, I saved picture taking for the return trip when lighting would be better. The jagged Needles could be seen to the southeast. The trail went up a plain covered with yellow grass and scattered bushes toward the mountains. Went by a few free roaming cows.

Free roaming cows
 


After around a mile, I went through what seemed like a disassembled hiker’s gate. I was then “out of the plains and in the mountains”. The trail began to make twists and turns going up the slopes of Baylor Canyon.

On Baylor Pass Trail
On Baylor Pass Trail


Behind me (to the west) the plain went slowly down to the city of Las Cruces. Low mountains could be seen rising to the northwest of the city. These must have been the Robledo Mountains.

Robledo Mountains
Robledo Mountains


I was then mostly in the sun. The southeastern face of the summit of Baylor Peak could be seen above me. As I neared Baylor Pass, a woman and her dog were coming down the trail. She said she was from Albuquerque and had gone only until the pass.

On Baylor Pass Trail
 


At 9:15, I reached Baylor Pass. The plains to the east came to view. Sat there for a few minutes eating and drinking. I then left trail, turned north and started to follow a beaten path up the southern slopes of Baylor Peak.

Baylor Peak on the left
Baylor Peak (on the left) from Baylor Pass


At first, there was hardly any vegetation on the slope but then all kinds of thorny bushes appeared. I was afraid of losing the path and ending up bushwhacking through the nasty thorns but fortunately that did not happen.

On the slopes of Baylor Peak
 
On the slopes of Baylor Peak
 
On the slopes of Baylor Peak
 
On the slopes of Baylor Peak
 


As I went higher, the snow covered north face of The Needles appeared behind me but I did not take any pictures until I reached the summit.
Looking back down at the saddle.

Looking back at Baylor Pass
Looking back at Baylor Pass


I then reached the top of a high point (around 7600 ft). The true summit of Baylor Peak appeared in front of me. I had to hike on top of a narrow rocky ridge-top. Nothing scary or technical but the thorns made me extra careful.

Summit of Baylor Peak
Summit from Point 7600 ft
Looking back at the 7600 ft high point
Looking back at Point 7600 ft


More rock hoping below the summit.

Below the summit of Baylor Peak
 
Just below the summit of Baylor Peak
 


Reached the summit at 10:35. To the south, the snow covered slopes of the jagged Organ Peak, Organ Needle, Flat-Top and Rabbit Ears made a very impressive scene.

Looking southeast
 
Organ Peak, Organ Needle, Flat-Top & Rabbit Ears
Organ Peak & Needle, Flat-Top plus Rabbit Ears


Rabbit Ears
 


To the north, the sub-peaks of Baylor Peak and San Andres Mountains were in good view.

San Andres Mountains and Baylor s subpeaks
Sub-peaks & San Andres


To the distant northeast, I could barely see the snowy summit of the 11973 ft Sierra Blanca Peak rising far above the lower San Andres Mountains, which were much closer. Small parts of White Sands National Monument could be seen as white spots appearing between Sierra Blanca and San Andres Mountains. Route 70 seemed to be not far away.

Sierra Blanca, San Andres and White Sands
Sierra Blanca & White Sands


To the east and west, plains stretched out into the horizon.

Looking northwest
Northwest
Looking northeast
Northeast
Looking SW at Las Cruces
Southwest
Robledo Mountains and Las Cruces
West, Robledo Mountains


After having lunch and enjoying the views, I left at 11:00. Going down the steep slope was pretty slow. The jagged needles were now well visible.

Organ Needle, Flat-Top & Rabbit Ears
 


Near Baylor Pass, I suddenly noted a huge granite tower which I recognized as Sugarloaf Peak. It was really just a high point on the very long northern ridgeline of Organ Peak but looked very impressive.

Sugarloaf Peak
Sugarloaf Peak


Reached Baylor Pass at 12:15. A couple had just come there on the trail from Aguirre Spring Trailhead. I sat there for some time, then got back on the trail to Baylor Canyon Trailhead.

On Baylor Pass Trail
 


Ran into 2-3 more people. Robledo Mountains again.

Robledo Mountains & Las Cruces
Robledo Mountains & Las Cruces


The southwest face of Baylor Peak.

Baylor Peak
Baylor Peak


Behind me, a rocky summit could be seen, it was probably Rabbit Ears.

Rabbit Ears, probably?
 


I then exited the mountains and was back on the plain with yellow grass. Reached my car at 1:55. Lots of people were there.

Yellow grass plain
 
Yellow grass plain
 
West face of Baylor Peak
Baylor Peak
Organ Mountains
Organ Mountains

Images

Looking southeastNortheast face of Baylor PeakRabbit Ears, probably?On Baylor Pass TrailWest face of Baylor PeakOn the slopes of Baylor PeakSugarloaf Peak
On Baylor Pass TrailRobledo Mountains & Las CrucesBaylor PeakLooking northwestSierra Blanca, San Andres and White SandsYellow grass plainLooking northeast
[ View Gallery - 22 More Images ]



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