Friday, November 29, 2013

Slot Canyon- Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument

There is no Broad Canyon Ranch State Park yet . I volunteered there a couple of years ago pulling out the old barbed wire fencing. There has also been a willow planting project and that's about it. It still just looks like an abandoned ranch along the Rio Grande. The gate  is  closed and locked. This little hike is on west side of NM 85 in the vicinity of Broad Canyon.  That's all I'll say. If you use Google Earth, you'll be able spot the slot canyon pretty easily  and know how to proceed. I didn't really know where it was, and had intended to go on the Southwest Environmental Center's Back Before Noon hike to the canyon a couple of weeks ago. I was renting a place near Humboldt Mountain( see blog) doing the Allie Canyon hike( see blog) instead. The hardest part of this little hike is climbing the gate. The slot canyon section of this nameless arroyo is pretty short- less than 1/2 mile I would say, but it is a true slot- something we don't really have that many of down in the southern half of the state.
   I would estimate its maximum depth is somwhere between 65 and 80 feet, and its minimum width is between 3 and 4 feet. It was very dark in the middle sections even at high noon. It was a blast walking the sinuous, meandering path. We saw a large raptor nest in one of the many alcoves above us.   There were millions of large (2 inches plus!)dead grasshoppers in the sandy bottom providing a rather pungent smell, which was only mildly unpleasant.We kept craning our necks looking up at the winding crack of blue sky. The walls were rough waves of rusty conglomerate. Emerging on the west side, we explored the upper regions of the large, wide arroyo which funnels into and has carved the slot. Our dogs chased a jackrabbit. We soaked up the sun before heading back into the cool, cavernous watercourse. A beautiful desert day.













6 comments:

apvnm said...

Once again, you've really perked up my appreciation of southern NM.

Thanks,

Alex
alex@vertikoff.com

Ben said...

Awesome! I love the slots- glad to hear about another one!

john anderson said...

I looked for this canyon recently but didn't find it. Gate was easy enough to find. Looking at google earth before setting out, I thought I had found it, but it was just a trick of the shadows. I had a great hike anyway and ran into a large band of javelinas--great to see them. Thanks for your blog--love it.

--John Anderson

devon said...

If you walk back to the south you will come to an arroyo. Follow it to southwest and then west.

peanut2339 said...

We just moved here from Va. We are trying to find great rocks, canyons, formations in our ( back yard ) We moved into Faulkner Canyon, Our property runs to the BLM gate into Faulkner canyon on the left. The last house on the left. Off of 185 in Radium Springs. We are not far from Broad Canyon, But we are in our 60"s and I am partially crippled to walk, so we ride horses. We can enter from trails over the hills from back in the canyon, but I would like to know if you could direct us to the slots from where we are.
my email is ... peanut2339@yahoo.com and I am Gloria Hager on Facebook.

Dan Beckett said...

We just got back from this spectacular hike today. What an amazing, hidden gem! We've filed this one away for future use to take visiting family to.