Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dog Canyon

For the final stop of our trifecta, we traveled another 50 miles to Oliver Lee State Park which is situated at the mouth of Dog Canyon.  Because they had experienced an unusual amount of rain, everything was green and plants were flowering out of season.

New Mexico State Parks are generally very nice, with widely spaced RV sites.  They are also very reasonably priced, which makes us happy.  We paid $10 for a site without hookups.  It's a few dollars more for hookups.

In the evening, we were treated to a soft pink tint on the mountains to the east . . .

Then the sky was painted a vibrant orange as the sun set over the Tularosa Valley.

The next morning, we were up and out early (for us) to hike up the canyon.  The trail goes 5.5 miles to the top of the mountain and if you have two vehicles, you can drive to that end in the national forest. But we were happy to just go until we were half tired.

The first 6/10 mile is steep, with a 600 foot elevation gain.  On the way, we had a good view of the campground.  That's us on the far left, parked happily away from any campfires.  (Actually, the other loop had the hookups.)

Now this is what I call a rock garden.

As promised, at 6/10 mile, the trail leveled out and was mostly a walk in the park with just a gradual elevation change.

It was really a wonderful hike, I would give it 5 stars, although I'm sure it can be blazing hot. Here's a shot looking back down the canyon.

After 1 1/2 miles, Ron decided to turn around, but I wanted to go just a bit farther and try to see the end of the canyon.  Sure enough, at mile 1 3/4, I got the view I was looking for.

Here's a close up of the end.

At that point, the trail descends some before, once again, climbing steeply, so I turned around.  On my way back, I zoomed in to catch a glimpse of White Sands National Monument in the distance.

In case you're wondering how I know exactly how far we hiked, this trail has mileage markers every 1/4 mile.  How cool is that?

To finish up New Mexico, we made our way to I 10, passing close to, but not stopping at, White Sands.  We were there before and I wasn't really impressed.  But it is an interesting phenomenon.


  1. Nice spot for a hike I agree it did look like a rock garden! NOT one tree for miles that is amazing!

  2. Desert pictures of sunrises, sunsets, rock gardens, canyons - just can't be beat. I am so excited to be getting closer.

  3. That was certainly a beautiful hike. The desert here in Arizona is greener than usual, too.

  4. Great sunset ... and only $10 to enjoy it ... nice.