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Quiet Canyon, NM

no permit
54 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
0 of 5 by 0
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,560 feet
Elevation Gain 400 feet
Accumulated Gain 450 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
Post the 1st photoset!
Author imike
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 0
Photos 6,930
Trips 2,467 map ( 21,513 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Cloudcroft, NM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Oct, Nov → Early
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:51am - 6:02pm
0 Alternative
So Close...So Far
by imike

Alamogordo hiking, at least as noted in the official guide books, is limited to T119, heading up to Ortega Peak, T113, Goat Springs Trail heading up to the Mesa, and T104 up Alamo Canyon. Yet the reality is that there are many more hikes leaving immediately from the Alamogordo city boundaries... they're just not listed in the guide books nor noted on the maps. This is one of those "lost" hikes.

Just south of the Goat Springs Wash drainage lies this little dessert trek moving up an easy drainage to a large waterfall formation below the Mesa. The walking is often on and over solid bedrock making for an easy stroll up canyon. The non-assuming beginning is along the old pipeline track (dirt road traversing all along the base of the foothills south of Marble Canyon). Look for the old metal water pipes crossing the drainage opening about a quarter mile from the Goat Springs drainage. This is the official start of the hike. Reach this point by either parking at the city park at the east end of 1st street, or by parking along Scenic Drive and walking across the scrub 'till you hit the gravel road. You can orient to this drainage fairly easily by looking for the large half dome of rock sticking prominently out below the Mesa. The canyon runs from the north, behind that formation.

This is all off trail hiking. As with most off trail desert walking, expect the footing to be unstable. Hike with care.

This canyon can be looped with the Cabrito canyon hike for a nice diversity, probably better going up Cabrito and coming back down this easier canyon. The terminating point is the very dramatic waterfall ledge halfway up to the Mesa. You will likely have the canyon all to yourself. Though oriented immediately out of the city, the canyon probably sees fewer than 20 hikers a year.

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2010-09-20 imike
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Quiet Canyon
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    Ross and Darrel along to explore the south side cleft. It did allow access out the top, but the top access, while better climbing than in the cleft proper, was too exposed for safe access? I need to go over and set a rope from the top and then check out the final bit of the climb. Fun stuff!

    Hot day... dead air. We cut the outing short. I walked to/from the hike... most of the mileage came from that!
    Quiet Canyon
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    alternate route to El Gordo... Ross wanted to see new areas... so, up Goat Springs South... across the Goat Basin... into Quiet Canyon to catch The Big Cave... then along the Quiet Cliffs to enjoy the side canyon... the Crinoid Falls... the Slot... and then down to the lower ridge along the north side of Quiet Canyon.

    Lots of good stuff... exceptional fossil details... still trying to decide on the optimum route to enjoy the highlights.

    A few interesting falls... rocks breaking away.

    Ross cleaned the blockage in the Slot... we need to go back with some safety (rope/board)... but he was up!

    Warmer out! Where's the cold!!!
    Quiet Canyon
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    DJ the only hiker to sign on for the hike up to El Gordo... but Ross caught up with us before we made it over to the Canyon. We did the Beginner section then went off trail up to the small cave... cliff edge around to the big Cave...then, we checked out yet another possible looping route for the upper Mesa Basin trail. I think we are getting close to deciding.

    After Goat Springs we angled off and up towards Goat Peak... Ross and Dj opted for a break while I tagged the peak... but after dropping back down to them I decided to go backup. I'd spotted a concentration of mollusk fossils; seemed worth checking out.

    Once back up towards the top I did score a variety of shells... and finally thought I was getting into a very interesting section of Crinoid crown fossils... until I noticed they were not cross sectioned discs... but textured... looking like cellulose. So... ancient sea plant life... not animal? The strata was full of cross and longitudinal pieces.

    As I hit the peak I was back to wanting a great mollusk to top of the day... got a pic of one half shell. I'll have to see what it looks like in editing.

    Back down to the trail... and I decided to drop into the upper Dryfall. Acrophobia reacted acutely, but I made it down into the cut above the upper lip edge. Water accents... nice.

    All in all... very good eight hours!
    Quiet Canyon
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    El Gordo
    Met Ross early for hike up to The Cave... opted for some route finding up and to the Slot first. Wow... it turned out to be exceptional, and too challenging for us to climb on our own. I'll come back with Kim to get up into the next level, or I'll carry in a climbing pole.

    The Cave turns out to be nice, but not a feature we will need to protect. It is hard enough to get up and in to discourage most folks... and the drama is all out in the entry and first 100 feet. It deadends soon after on the main branch... and climbing up to the side branch 40-60 feet to the back of the upper shelf... all crawling. Lots of crystal structure, but no huge drama.

    It is a great intermediate level hike destination.

    Looks like Cabrito Canyon may make a nice exit loop... if some issues can be resolved on the route along the Cliff bases.

    Need to haul out a ton of trash... someone was living up in under one of the cliff overhangs for awhile.

    A good day, and finished just as the floods begin!
    Quiet Canyon
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    Cold temp reduced the numbers on Terri's Friday hike... nice to be back up into Quiet Canyon after so many years.

    Quiet Canyon Photo Set on Google+: ... 4331555617

    The Fissure was impressive! See the full photo set over on Google+: ... 8198873073
    Quiet Canyon
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    looped from Quiet Canyon, up to Dome Rock, looped entirely around the base, then topped out... returned down Prominent Point, checking out the secondary trail off it's west face. As great as the rock looks, jutting out below the Mesa cliffs, it is nicer to look at than climb up on top... still, nice outing. Legs needed the hit.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    In Alamogordo, Park in the city park at the far east end of 1st Street, or park along Scenic Drive south of 1st Street... from either parking, walk east over to the drainage. From the dirt road along the base of the mountains, look for the old metal water pipes in the mouth of the drainage.
    page created by imike on Sep 20 2010 8:26 am
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