Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dona Ana Mountains- other hikes

 We've done a lot of exploring in the Dona Anas. One nice hike started out at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park. We hiked west along the side of the east-west running ridge immediately adjacent to the park and checked out an old copper prospect that has a lot of  blue-green coated rocks lying around. Be careful here because the shafts are deep enough to injure yourself seriously. We then used the roads to go around the ridge,and completed the loop going cross country on the south side back to the nature park. We've also explored the mines and prospects in the Wagner Canyon area and the surrounding hills. One of mines is very deep and dark and still had a steel cable running down in it. Explore at your own risk. I've also have found my way to the Dona Ana's only legitimate gold prospect. It's not real easy to find, northwest of Cleofas Well, sitting in  an anonymous ravine amongst low hills. There are a couple of shafts and trenches.  I used to have some rocks from the meager tailings piles,but have since misplaced them. From what I've read the initial ore was very rich,but  extremely limited in extent.  It has been in this range where I've managed to end up in a  tight spot with my old 2 wheel drive Izusu Rodeo on more than one occasion, but managed to extricate myself each time. Many of the roads in this small range aren't really roads, but trails suitable for Jeeps, dirt bikes and ATVs. This type of travel is the main recreational use of the mountains. Unfortunately it has led to a concentration of  created roads and trails in certain areas which not only mar the scenery,but also diminishes other wild land values as well. There are also some well known rock climbing walls in the Dona Anas and you may see some folks enjoying this  sport. One time we watched several climbers on a formation called the "Towers."  Note: as with my most recent blog  about the Dona Anas, the "Towers" and other areas mentioned here may be off limits now. Check with NMSU  and BLM regarding accessibility.


j kaake said...

I wish you would contact me about caves and rock art around las cruces. My name is Jeff jkaake@elp.rr.com

Sherie Wood said...

Hi Devon,

I'm looking to bring a video crew to Southern NM at the end of March/early April to film some footage for an outdoor cooking program. We're looking for some lush green scenery like in your 2010 posts - Bonita Lake, South Fork Bonito Creek, Tularosa Creek.
Do you have any recommendations on areas that would be lush and green in S NM that time of year and that wouldn't have snow cover?

Best Regards,

devon said...

That really isn't a good time of year for lush and green as it's at beginning of our dry windy season. Higher elevation areas are still pretty cold with little growth. If the winter continues to be wet, lower elevation mountains may green up nicely before drying out in April and May.The Sacramento Mountains around Cloudcroft and High Rolls may be your best bet( if not covered in snow from a March storm).

devon said...

Most of those photos are taken in June or July. I did and April hike last year in San Andres Canyon and it looked pretty nice, the spring was flowing, the maples had leafed out and there was even a little bit of grass. If you can wait, I'd shoot for later in April.Check out the Osha Trail hike in my Archives for what the area looks like in the third week or so of April.

Sherie Wood said...

Thank you for your input Devon!

devon said...

I forgot to mention, because it's a rarity, but if we continue to get winter rain, the desert areas right around here in Las Cruces green up, and we get wonderful wildflowers- especially california poppies.