Smith Mesa

Total Miles
30.5

Elevation

1783.24 ft

Duration

Hours

Technical Rating

2

Easy

Best Time

spring, fall, winter

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Trail Overview

Difficulty

Easy

History

THE FLYING ROCKET APES OF HURRICANE MESA : Testing and standardizing aircraft ejection systems. The Air Force contracted with the Coleman Engineering Company to build the Supersonic Military Air Research Track on top of Hurricane Mesa.. Essentially, they built a 2.25 mile long continuously-welded track to carry a rocket-propelled sled that could reach speeds of 1,050 miles per hour (Mach 1.3). The track ran right up to the edge of the mesa's cliff. The track and related facilities were constructed from 1954-1955 and the first test took place on July 8, 1955. Over the next six years, the Air Force and Coleman undertook around 334 tests to standardize ejection seats.

Technical Rating

2