Albuquerque Senior Centers' Hiking Groups (ASCHG)

Strawberry Canyon to McGaffey Lookout Hike
In Northwest New Mexico Region

Hike Id H10637
Last Update 2018-05-22 22:02:54.0
Hike Class B
Hike Miles 4.4
Minimum Elevation 7790
Elevation Gain 330
Total Uphill 450
Total Downhill 450
Avg Grade 2 %
Route Type CCW Loop
Drive Miles Round Trip 285
Drive Time Oneway 2:30
Hiking Seasons Smmr, Fall
Hike Rating (Hike not rated)
All On Trail Yes
All Paved/Gravel Roads Yes
GPS Recommended Yes

Highlights Beautiful hike on a forest service trail to a tower overlook. Visit a lake on the return.

Cautions Hiking poles may be useful.

Trailhead Directions West on I-40 to exit 33 (the same exit for the Crossover hike) , go south past Ft. Wingate on Hwy 400 for 10 miles to the Strawberry Canyon trailhead on the right at the end of the paved road.

Actual Hike From PARK proceed south on the east (left) side of the McGaffey campground. Go over the wooden foot BRIDGE (0.7 mi) and turn left, then follow the main trail all the way up to the fire lookout TOWER (2.3 mi). Although the access to the tower at the top is locked, you can walk up the stairs going near the top for good views. After that, go back the way you came but take the trail to the right at RT TURN (2.5 mi) and proceed down the main trail to the dirt road. Find a safe way down the embankment to the dirt road FS 50. Once on the road hike left to the McGaffey LAKE (4.0 mi). After enjoying the lake, continue up the road in a westerly direction back to PARK.

Comments Hwy 400 is paved all the way from Ft. Wingate to the trailhead.

The hike distance and total uphill/downhill were determined using the track captured by a Garmin 60Cx unit with the Topo US 24K Southwest digital elevation model in Garmin BaseCamp.

Garmin Topo U.S. 24K Southwest, Garmin BaseCamp Version 4.6.2 © 2008-2016 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries (

Map File Download it.  Usually a larger image.

PARK: N35 22.489, W108 31.198
BRIDGE: N35 21.920, W108 31.184
TOWER: N35 21.835, W108 30.574
RT TURN: N35 21.867, W108 30.568
LAKE: N35 22.540, W108 30.884

GPS Files Click link to download file.
GPX:WayTrack, 15Sep17, Garmin, Frank Ernst

Text Author Frank Ernst
Map Author Marilyn Warrant
Waypoints Author Frank Ernst
Track Author Frank Ernst
Maintainer Frank Ernst