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.
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.