A blog about exploring the natural areas of New Mexico focusing on but not limited to Dona Ana, Luna, Otero, Sierra, Grant, Lincoln,Socorro and Catron counties.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Red John Box- Cibola National Forest
We did this walk through the box section of West Red Canyon in the San Mateo Mountains back in '05 when we first camped there. We drove down FR 478 from our campsite until we found a place to pull off within sight of the box canyon's mouth. We hiked down to the stream bottom, and after having to make our way through a couple of fences, found a trail that led us upstream into the high walled box. It was October and had been a rainy late summer and early fall that year( and was intermittently rainy during our trip), so not only was the valley unusually lush,but the creek was actually flowing through this section( don't count on it if you go though). We continued on, looking up at the red rock cliffs that towered above us, and the bright colored leaves in the water below us. The box canyon is fairly short, so we decided to continue on a ways along the creek bed on the other side. Eventually we got back on the road which goes around the box high on the north side and returned to our truck. Note: FR 478 is very rough has one truly horrendous creek crossing( plus another only slightly less severe) that shook the interior of our little teardrop trailer to pieces. As far as I know it has not been repaired and was in much the same shape when we visited in 2007( see blog entry) when with our less powerful truck almost didn't make it up and out at all. Fortunately after that first trip we took many precautions to reinforce and stabilize the trailer's interior, so the damage was slight this second time.