On Google Earth and on maps this appears as reasonable extension of the road that runs along I-25.Unfortunately, for us, it was not. What is not easy to see, until we were on the road, are the steep arroyo crossings, the deep sand, the narrow track and the overall crappy condition of this unmaintained road. Balking at one particularly gnarly crossing, we realized we couldn't turn around. We forged ahead and made it through that one, parking at one of the very few spots wide enough shortly thereafter, not wanting to press our luck with our 2 wheel drive truck any further.
All this road wrangling not only left our nerves a little jangled, but also ate up quite a bit of the time allotted for our hike. We started off quickly turning down a road that intersected from the east. Going cross country we made our way through a narrow little canyon to some higher ground overlooking the basin and several of the arroyos that feed it. We climbed a little peak whose ridge line was thick with heavily silicified boulders of limestone.
We got a few better views,but now, because of our after lunch start and the road problems, both those that had already happened and the ones we were anticipating on the return trip, we thought it prudent to head back. I took a few more longing looks at the area that was my intended destination and then we headed back now walking down a different arroyo flowing to the east . Four beautiful deer crossed in front of us,but happily we were able to talk the off leash Seamus out of a chase.That canyon ended abruptly at a dry waterfall, so we climbed over to the next one to the north which is also the one with the road.
I've used this road many times for hikes over the years and have watched this canyon section,which is the only alternative on the east side for getting up onto the plateau that leads to Tonuco Peak, deteriorate from usable by factory four wheel drive vehicles to its current nearly impassable(except perhaps for those heavily customized rock crawling Jeeps) condition. It won't be long before it washes away altogether or is blocked by a massive movement of rock and soil.
The return auto trip had its own bit of anxiety, as we spun our tires in the deep sand while climbing a steep hill. We had to roll back down and go a longer way round on a route with better traction.
Alas, our hike was only a short one of a couple of miles. Perhaps it was for the best as it was the first desert outing for Nessie( our Scottie puppy). She did very well.
I have accepted the fact(again) that I will just have to make a long hike to visit the area.Which is fine.