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New Mexico’s Bootheel has always been remote. Geronimo had his hideouts here, but today one of the state’s last indigenous populations of bighorn sheep roams the Big Hatchet Mountains. Four thousand feet above the desert floor, the range’s 8,441 foot summit, Big Hatchet Peak, offers sweeping views from the Sierra Madre Mountains of Sonora to the Chiracahua Mountains in Arizona. From the mouth of Thompson Canyon, backpack 4 miles southwest, up that canyon’s deteriorating dirt road (part of the CDT). Another 3 miles of off-trail travel, first ascending west, and then scrambling north on the summit ridge, brings you to the top of this seldom-visited peak.
Bureau of Land Management, (505) 525-4300, www.nm.blm.gov/