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Deadman Canyon: North Fork, NM

Guide 19 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.5 of 5 
no permit
101 19 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 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,764 feet
Elevation Gain 1,800 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,900 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.5
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
20  2017-10-07 imike
1  2016-06-30 imike
20  2015-10-03 imike
10  2014-01-19 imike
50  2010-10-01 imike
Author imike
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 0
Photos 6,930
Trips 2,467 map ( 21,513 miles )
Age 71 Male Gender
Location Cloudcroft, NM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Oct, Nov → Early
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:15am - 7:05pm
0 Alternative

It Ain't Worth It!!
by imike

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As I hiked in the lower sections of this canyon, I was pleased with the variety and ease of the course, realizing that it would make a great introductory route for those wanting to get a taste of canyoneering. It has all the features, just in small doses.

The route starts off along T104 (Alamo Canyon trail) for the first half mile, then instead of turning up canyon when the trail hits the wash, or instead of diverting up T107 (Roundup Ground trail) you simply move to your right and enter the wash coming in from the south side, heading east up into this nice canyon cut. After about a mile of very pleasant canyon walking the drainage splits... and you take the left (north) fork. The hike gets ever nicer as you work up and over bedrock falls... at least for the next half mile. At that point, the introductory canyon hike is over. The 15' overhanging waterfall can be easily worked around on the right side, but from here on it is not for beginners.

There will be a number of additional falls in the 20 to 35 foot range, some climbable... all easily worked around.. and fun.

Finally, the drainage climbs and splits... and the smart move would be to move out to the left and cross over to the Roundup Grounds, the large plateau meadow to the north and east. Connect up with the Roundup Trial to create an interesting loop. Or... continue on up to cap out this north fork drainage in the cliffs above you. It gets very steep... and the route is broken and obscured by intermittent cliffs that have to be either climbed or worked around. With enough effort, you will top out the drainage... and then you have the not fun task of downclimbing this same upper slope. Might have made sense to stop at one of the lower waterfalls and simply enjoy a shorter in/out hike.

If you are a real glutton for punishment, continue on up to the top of Long Ridge and hike out to the very prominent Steamboat formation. That is not a suggestion, but it is a possibility.

This is a very off trail hike if you are including this upper portion of the drainage... grades over 60%, lots of loose rock, and cliffs to scale. Budget plenty of time and take lots of water.

Don't forget your cell phone... you may need it.

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2010-10-01 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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    From the main drag in Alamogordo (White Sands Blvd) take First street east to Scenic Drive, turn right (south) and follow to end of road, then take Alamo Canyon road to the left side of the city water tower... and follow to the end of road, parking next to the city water treatment plant. take off on the trail to the right side of the fence, follow for 1/2 mile to Alamo wash...
    page created by imike on Oct 01 2010 8:55 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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