Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Arroyo Angostura- Sierra de las Uvas

I thought I'd check out the Arroyo Angostura near Hatch this past Sunday( 2/15/15). It's name, which means "narrow passage," and the images from Google Earth and topo maps  showed me it had at least one interesting box section. I also thought that it had good potential for rock art as well.
 We drove out on the Spring Canyon Road( County E-05) passing a couple of spring areas ( in Spring Canyon and a tributary)with cottonwoods early on.  We parked near a dry tank close to Peloncillo Peak. Starting  down a rocky tributary we shortly made it into the main arroyo. Initially, it was shallow, rocky and not particularly exciting. The most interesting aspect was the abundant loose agate in the streambed and the agate laced andesite  bedrock.
 Eventually we came to an area of high conglomerate cliffs in the bends of the wide wash.  We rested under an overhang. It was quite warm for mid- February. I thought glumly about how the season for winter desert hikes may already be done. We continued on, happening upon a section of road that was welcome relief from the uneven terrain. Soon we spied  a long abandoned homestead in the now deep canyon bottom. There was a rotor-less windmill, a large rusty water storage tank, a stone ruin and a nearly melted away adobe ruin.


Beyond the ruins was the box section, a narrow defile between cliffs of volcanic rock spilling boulders weathered to deep, desert varnish brown. It was very scenic, but short. Beyond, I could see a few more cliffs, but mostly the arroyo looked wide and shallow again. I wished I could've investigated  to see what reaches further down held, but a late start meant it was time to turn around. The  steady hard wind made the trip back a trudge.

All in all, I can't really recommend this hike, unless you are interested in absolute solitude in mostly average desert scenery.  There could be rock art past where we stopped, but that area would be better accessed from the mouth of the arroyo. Note: the homestead area is posted Private Property- No Trespassing on the road coming down from the mesa. It is not posted in the arroyo itself.

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