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An area hiking trail that has been in the works for years has finally materialized, and it’s a doozy! The trail has been completed and people are already enjoying the lovely walk that meanders through high country, in part along the ridgeback that runs beside Timberlake Ranch.
It is called the Ramah Trail and its construction is impressive, with stone steps and path delineations that make the climbs comfortable and the trail easy to follow. It is a significant addition to the recreational value (and perhaps property values) of our area.
The Ramah Trail is part of the National Trail System, which is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service, in conjunction with a number of other federal and nonprofit partners. The National Trail System has become so extensive that if all the trails were laid end to end they would cross the entire country more than four times. Two of the local partners for the Ramah Trail are Gallup Trails, a trails advocacy organization serving McKinley County; and the Ramah Land and Irrigation Company.
There are, as yet, no signage or markers. However, the trail entrance is indicated by a small red flag on a wire stuck into the ground making it easy for you to hike it now. The new trailhead parking area is on the road to the Ramah Lake dam. The trail starts to the left of the restroom area and goes up the cliffside.
The trail goes to the top of the ridge and continues north, then eventually drops down into the old rodeo grounds (Pasture Hollow), thru a deep arroyo, and then back up on the right-hand side. The trail going up the cliff on the right hand side is easy to spot.
If you can’t find the beginning of the trail adjacent to the parking area, you can walk about 10 minutes down the road into the canyon. Watch for another trail entrance on your left, which is a set of stone steps heading up the side of the ridge.