My Honda Civic was only capable of going just past the forest service boundary so I had to walk to the Johnnie Canyon TH from there. The trail was vague in spots and disappeared altogether after a couple of miles so I bushwhacked directly up the lower part of the C (visible on the topo map) to gain the ridge, then went north and joined onto the now visible trail for the remainder of the climb. Not a lot of names in the summit register, although some of the ones I saw were recognizable from this website. For the way down I chose to walk out via the trail on the ridge towards the cell phone towers, with a final bushwhack down a valley to link onto 441 so I could walk out via the dirt road. It was an interesting 9 hour day.
With "Palko Peak" & Padilla Point.
There was unexpected snow in Johnnie Canyon that made the ascent slower, but still doable. Would recommend snowshoes for those coming in possible snowy conditions as the canyon fills up with snow and the heavily wooded nature of the canyon prevents it from melting off as fast as that found in the rest of the area. Following the canyon until the trail starts switchbacking makes navigation easy at first, but you will want to bring a compass and a forest service map and take a pace count after reaching the subpeak just prior to the summit. This is to be sure you don't turn to cross west over the saddle from the subpeak to the main peak too early and end up having to gain back more altitude. It's about 400 yards south from the subpeak to the ideal crossing point. Perhaps this was only necessary for me because the trail was invisible due to snowfall... your mileage may vary.
This was an awesome hike and had some unique views of the surrounding peaks that you don't normally get to see. You definitely should have some route finding skills and a lot of the signs are old and broken.
The trail was difficult to follow as there were plenty of washouts down below and fallen trees obscuring the path higher up. Also be aware that some signs are missing
Started early and enjoyed the mountain all to myself. Hit summit - I visited both potential summit cairns (I think the northern one is higher) - but storms started building as I descended. Some lightning and thunder by the time I was in the trees and lower Johnnie Canyon. Nice peak!
Another overlooked gem. It's good to know there are still places to fine solitude. I particularly enjoyed the local in town who would insisted we did climb it.
We were looking for a hike with very little traffic, and this one fit the bill. We drove up from Las Cruces and thoroughly enjoyed the hike and a post hike meal at the Outpost in Carrizozo.
An impressive mountain located off the beaten path.