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Dome Cut...The Stairway, NM

no permit
12 7 0
Guide 7 Triplogs  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 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,401 feet
Elevation Gain 1,005 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.85
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
11  2017-09-24
Goat Springs Canyon
12  2011-01-05 imike
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Oct, Nov → Early
Seasons   ALL
Sun  7:07am - 5:20pm
0 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
Quiet Canyon
Quiet Canyon
0.3 mi away
1.5 mi
450 ft
The Mesa via the Cleft
0.4 mi away
1.5 mi
1,550 ft
Mesa Loop Trail
0.4 mi away
13.5 mi
3,500 ft
Hershberger Peak via RockaChucky Wash
0.4 mi away
5.4 mi
3,750 ft
Scenic Drive - Alamogordo
0.4 mi away
5.0 mi
150 ft
Cabrito Canyon
0.6 mi away
1.0 mi
325 ft
RockaChuckey Wash
0.6 mi away
3.3 mi
2,160 ft
Prominent Point
0.6 mi away
1.0 mi
1,000 ft
Dome Rock
0.6 mi away
1.5 mi
650 ft
Goat Springs Canyon
0.6 mi away
1.2 mi
690 ft
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Fun Leg Stretcher!
by imike

Nice to score yet another in town canyon cut with some slightly different characteristics. Once past the initial few hundred yards of gravel, this gorge climbs in a stairstep fashion over ledged bedrock for most of its length.

As you wind back and around this narrow cut, views alternate with the city slipping into site then disappearing, and finally, nice perspectives of both Dome Rock and Prominent Point.

The drainage lies between Dome Rock and Prominent Point and is a reasonable if not optimal approach to either peak. A logical terminus to the hike is the meadow area between those peaks, just below the saddle that connects them to each other on the east. To that point the hike is a non stop series of short ledges that keep you nicely moving up, at a bit over 1000' per mile for most of the hike. Above the meadow, the cut is a bit overgrown, but accessible. If you climb to the saddle at the east end you have the option to loop down either Quiet Canyon to the north, or around down the old Jeep road from Prominent Point. You could also head on up to the Mesa via either the Cleft or RockaChucky Wash.

This is an ideal short, leg stretching workout hike, or a pleasant midday picnic hiking route.

With the slowly improving economics in the area, the private land at the base of the wash is being put back into development. No trespassing signs are beginning to pop up. While the land is still open and unposted across to Scenic Drive, I've noted the trailhead a bit further north, adjacent to the bike and pedestrian trail along the aquaduct. Follow the walking/bike path east over to the base of the mountains, and when the trails and culvert turn to the north, exit to the south, following the old dirt road along the base of the hills. Look to the east for the right drainage. It lies immediately between Dome Rock and Prominent Point (easy to spot because of the old Jeep rd going up the hill.) There is an old 8" Pipe gate with chains next to the wash entry on your left.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

    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 1st Street east to Scenic Drive, turn right (south) and drive down to the Aquaduct Bike and Pedestrian trail... Park along the road and follow the trail east towards the mountains
    page created by imike on Jan 05 2011 10:58 am
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