Point 6,617 B is a pyramid-shaped peak in the eastern foothills of the Sierra Cuchillo mountain range in southern New Mexico. This small peak has a prominence of 357 feet and is located about 23 miles northwest of the small city of Truth or Consequences.
Access to Point 6,617 B as well as the Sierra Cuchillo is via County Road C-014, off New Mexico Highway 52. I did not see a register on the summit so I’m not sure how often this peak is visited. Nearby Cuchillo Mountain, with an elevation of 7,898 feet, probably steals some thunder from this obscure yet aesthetic peak. Gaining the summit of a peak is almost always more difficult than it appears to be. This one, however, is the exception to the rule. An easy Class 1 hike up the west slope is all that is required. The crux of this peak is not the ascent, but rather the drive to get there. C-014 is not maintained and probably rivals some good 4WD roads in terms of the challenges it can pose to vehicles. I will get a little more detailed below in the Getting There and Route to Summit sections.
The views from the summit are nice and well worth the very little personal effort it takes to make it to the top. But your vehicle might not feel the same way about it. In my opinion, the drive in on C-014 makes this one not worth it. I only did it because my Plan A and Plan B both fell through and I did not want to waste my time and money in gas without making it to the top of a peak. With the day not getting any younger, I got to the point where I wanted to climb a peak - any peak - to save the day, in a sense. Although not large, this peak is unique and stands out – I spotted it from NM 52 and made my way towards it, not realizing what was in store for me.
Getting There- Exit Interstate 25 onto NM Highway 52 about 5 miles north of Truth or Consequences.
- Proceed about 20 miles on NM 52, which will head northwest then turn to the west after about 2 miles.
- Turn left on County Road C-014 (not marked, 33.34738 N, 107.55164 W) and reset your odometer.
- At 0.2 miles on C-014 there is a roundabout; go either left or right.
- At 0.3 miles, stay left at the intersection.
- At 0.6 miles, stay left and then veer left shortly after that.
- At 1.1 miles, veer right. Point 6,617 B will be directly to your left at this intersection.
- At 1.6 miles, you should see some good undeveloped campsites to your right.
- At 1.8 miles, stay left.
- At 2.1 miles, stay left.
- At 2.5 miles, turn left and proceed 0.7 miles to the southwest base of Point 6617 B and park off to the side of C-014.
NOTE: County Road C-014 is a rough and primitive road. 4WD/high clearance is an absolute must. The final 0.7-mile stretch in particular can be a major challenge, even for some 4WD vehicles. Aside from damaging your vehicle, you do not want to get stuck on this seldom-traveled road. Use good judgment and decide when it’s time to pull the plug on driving and start walking.
Route to SummitAs mentioned in the Overview section, the ascent of Point 6,617 B is extremely easy. In the absence of any trails, simply proceed up the west slope. Route finding is simple as the summit remains in view at all times, the cacti density is very low, and the footing is good. To keep the ascent a Class 1 affair, just skirt the summit’s rock formation on the north side and proceed south to gain the summit. Or you can scramble up the rock formation on the west side for the final 50 or so vertical feet, probably Class 2, maybe Class 3.
This route is 0.35 miles one way with 350 feet of net elevation gain.