Thanks for making the changes, although it would appear that your directions are still off. The FIRST public land access sign is not as far from the main road as your directions suggest.
If you follow this author's directions, you might not ever find the trailhead and/or be chased down by a Border Patrol helicopter (thinking you’re trying to smuggle something or someone across the border). The correct directions are as follows:
Take NM 81 south from the town of Hachita until you reach the first sharp curve at approximately 10.5 miles, turning left onto a very good gravel road at the BLM Big Hatchet sign. Proceed on this road for approximately 2.7 miles east and then curving southeast, until you see the FIRST BLM "Public Land Access" sign. Turn right here and proceed on this sometimes rough but mostly good road, always following the additional BLM "Public Land Access" directional signs (basically in a southeasterly direction). Although you will pass near the ranch referred to in the author's directions, it is about ½ mile off to the northeast. At approximately 8.5 miles from the first turnoff, turn right (southwest) onto the very rough Thompson Canyon spur. There is no sign other than a CDT marker, but a windmill lies directly in front of you. Proceed on this road past the windmill approximately 3.7 miles to its terminus at the trailhead (or less, if the road is not to your liking).
The direction are not too bad. But, as of September 2008, roads are washed out, I gave up, even with a 4X4 Toyota truck. We hiked up Thompson Cyn. The second windmill, where you turn right and head up the canyon, is blown over. So, don't go looking the the second windmill. Don't even think of driving a car off the first dirt road. You are very close to the Mexican boarder, so expect to be stopped by the US Border Patrol. Be sure and have all your auto registration and paper work. I have been in the area three time in the last year and have been stopped four times. Twice in one trip. Just be glad the Border Patrol is doing their job.
Paul McGuffin, Green Valley, AZ
Yep, you're right. We were stopped by border patrol when we left. No big deal, just have your ID and paperwork for vehicle on hand.
August 1, 2009: Found out that Zeller Pk. just north of Big Hatchet Pk. was named after Dr. Robert A. Zeller, Jr. Zeller lived in Hachita, NM. did his doctrot thesis on the Big Hatchet Mountains. It was published in 1965 as "Stratigraphy of the Big Hatchet Mountains Area." I found a copy on Ebay. Very interesting, but of no real value to a hiker or climber. He totally ignored the Thompson Canyon area in his writings. Zeller died in a plane crash, in 1970. Google him, interesting person.
Paul McGuffin, Green Valley, Arizona
We just hiked Big Hatchet on 12/08/13 and the road was really rough getting to the trail head. In fact, we stopped four miles short of the trailhead and made our day a bit longer. If you have 4x4 and high clearance, and your 4x4 is rough 'n' ready, you can make it to the trailhead; however, after all the rain and washout, the road is really rough at times and a longer hike should be expected for those without proper off-roading vehicles. GREAT HIKE!
The RSM link is stale -- the new one is apparently http://www.peaklist.org/spire/lists/nm-15-ang.html