Saturday, April 1, 2017

Diablo Canyon-BLM Taos District, Santa Fe National Forest

We went out to hike this canyon west of Santa Fe last Saturday (3/25/17). Rock climbing on the  towering columns of basalt seems to be the main draw here. Folks with ropes and helmets easily outnumbered the handful of day hikers we met along the way, even though it was a very pleasant first weekend of Spring.

The short box section is the real attraction here, and it had us craning necks with the requisite amount of awe. Unfortunately,once past the box, the hike became a rather monotonous trudge in the much widened, thick sands of the shadeless Buckman Wash.

We had planned to hike down to the river which would have made a roundtrip journey between 5 and 6 miles,but the bright sunshine and open terrain had us taking our black dogs for refuge under one too many scraggly juniper, so we made the decision to turn back with about 3/4 of mile still left to go.The clouds came soon afterwards which made our walk back much more pleasant.

 On our return we saw many chains dangling from one overhang, and I wasn't sure I entirely I approved of the practice of installing permanent anchors.
 After arriving back at the parking area, we drove the remaining couple of miles of the Buckman Road down to the river, where the wash creates a break in the rugged cliffs. It was high, brown,  and foamy with a large rapid that was running backwards just downstream from us. A very raw and uninviting time and place to contemplate our beloved Rio.

The Taos BLM website had great directions to the Diablo Canyon and other attractions on BLM land in the northern New Mexico. Check it out.

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