trip report by site editor Rick McCharles
Story goes that ranchers in 1881 got lost in the deserts. Had no water. With their horses failing they spotted the limestone walls of one more canyon. This would be their last chance.
My guidebook author called this “one of my favourite spots in all of New Mexico”.
It has plenty of water year round. A rarity in this part of the world.
I started late in the afternoon as it was only 2.7 miles to the recommended campsites.
The light gorgeous.
Here’s that water that saved the ranchers.
Obviously this canyon floods at times.
I checked out the campsites. Too exposed. It was very, very windy.
Instead I hunkered down in this more sheltered spot.
Having forgotten my bear bag rope, I instead tossed my food bag up into a tree attached to a loose branch. Ingenious improvisation I thought … at the time.
The wind blew it down during the night. Happily my food stayed undisturbed lying on the ground.
Next morning I had the option to try to loop to famed Sitting Bull Falls.
But to save time I opted to backtrack from here, visiting the falls via the front door.
As you probably would guess, the Sioux medicine man Sitting Bull never visited New Mexico.
This is a great hike. Highly recommended. We’ve added it to our list of best hikes in North America.