Hiking the Dog Canyon Trail at Oliver Lee State Park, NM

9 Nov
2011

It’s 2.9 miles to Frenchy’s cabin via the Dog Canyon Trail … and 1,500 feet up (Frenchy used the trail to move his cattle between his summer and winter grazing fields). Lisa mentioned the elevation change when we were starting, but it took a while to compute. Not until we started to make our way back down did I realize we had basically just climbed the staircase of the Sears Tower (1,451 feet) … but it was covered in loose gravel and uneven footing and bordered fairly consistently by a sheer drop into the canyon below, with the only vegetation available to stop your fall both prickly and infrequent. It’s an awesome trail.

It’s still weird to be in this environment. It reminds me of the Desert Dome in Milwaukee and seems a little fabricated because it’s so foreign.

Lisa snapped a bunch of great pictures:

The trail

The first 6/10 of a mile was so steep, all I could think about was moving my feet. I forgot to take any pictures!

Meadow

This was the cows' summer pasture. We both wanted to stay up here for a season.

Cabin

This was Frenchy's summer cabin.

The steep

The trail continues up...but our unacclimated legs had had enough.

White sands

The White Sands on the horizon.

Rocky

Rocky's down there in the campground below...

Dog Canyon

Jelly legs in Dog Canyon!

  • Robert McNamara

    Cool! You must be at 6,000 or 7,000 feet?

    • Lisa

      The base is about 4,500, then we hiked up another 1,500, so, just about. Good eye!

  • F67f76f

    lots  of fossils, and shells in the area!  Just do a little digging in the flatlands