Sunday, April 1, 2012

Broad Canyon- Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument

This is a beautiful hike from fall to spring.  A  mile long section of Broad Canyon about a 1/2 mile downstream from the confluence with Valles Canyon downstream is private ranch inholdings, and the very beginning of this hike is on private property as well( although the remainder is BLM),so please be respectful.To get to the start of this hike,take the Barksdale Rd.( just past the NM 85 Border Patrol Checkpoint if headed north) to where it meets a cross roads up on the mesa turn left, and in a short ways take another left. Follow this road which eventually goes steeply down into and crosses Broad Canyon, where there is parking next to the corral. For more precise directions with mileages and county road names consult Greg Magee's Dayhikes and Nature Walks in the Las Cruces- El Paso Area. Broad Canyon almost immediately boxes up and begins sinuously coursing downstream. In places,the canyon walls are over 100 feet high. There are many interesting rock formations,including some mini- arches.There are a few ash trees and occasional lingering pools of water,so there is a chance for spotting wildlife . At one point there are petroglyphs to be seen on the smooth rock at the base of a cliff. Right before the canyon opens up to become a wide, sandy, less than interesting desert arroyo, there is an almost slot canyon section where it stays dark much of the day. My wife and I have hiked here twice and enjoyed it immensely.Note: this section of Broad Canyon has several dry waterfalls, and is a well known route for rock crawling off road vehicles, so have a back up hike in mind,just in case they are in there.

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