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Pock Rock Canyon, NM

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Guide 20 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
Rated
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Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Canyoneering
Consensus
View 1
Grade1
WaterA
Risk
Time
Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,111 feet
Elevation Gain 1,200 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.9
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
12  2017-08-08 imike
31  2016-06-04 imike
34  2016-05-03 imike
24  2015-01-10
Alamo Gap
imike
50  2014-08-14
Roundup Cliffs
imike
32  2013-11-30 imike
32  2011-12-24 imike
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Oct, Nov → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:58am - 4:59pm
Route
 
0 Alternative
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Alamo Point
Alamo Point
0.2 mi away
1.2 mi
510 ft
Cascades Canyon
Cascades Canyon
0.2 mi away
1.0 mi
1,340 ft
Alamogordo Trailheads
0.2 mi away
8.0 mi
450 ft
Deadman Canyon: North Fork
0.3 mi away
5.0 mi
1,900 ft
Black Rock Canyon
0.3 mi away
4.7 mi
2,300 ft
Caballero Canyon North
0.3 mi away
7.0 mi
2,740 ft
Deadman Canyon: South Fork
Deadman Canyon: South Fork
0.3 mi away
2.0 mi
1,540 ft
Purgatory Canyon
Purgatory Canyon
0.3 mi away
4.9 mi
1,900 ft
Alamo Canyon Trail #104
Alamo Canyon Trail #104
0.3 mi away
7.0 mi
2,432 ft
Hershberger Canyon
0.3 mi away
5.0 mi
2,600 ft
[ View More! ]
Bad Start...Good Finish!
by imike

As you drive up Alamo Canyon Road to the trailhead parking for Alamo Canyon Trail (T104), glancing left you gaze up into the most dramatic rockbound drainage mouth of the entire Alamogordo Canyon System. The rock cliffs tower around the narrow opening, and the cliffs appear to progressively fill the upper canyon section, promising pour overs, ledges, falls and a multitude of rock textures. Those are not empty promises.


Park at the trailhead for Trail 104 (The city water system at the upper end of Alamo Canyon Road) and make your way cross country over to the mouth of the canyon just to the north. You can cross the private land directly adjacent to the water facility, or move up the hill 100' and cross the fence into National Forest land, then follow the fence line to the canyon drainage. This is not a fun traverse, but neither is it too difficult.

Pock Rock is one of the more rugged drainages. Overhanging soil sidebanks, crumbly rock, and assorted jumbles make traversing up the canyon more challenging, and possibly more dangerous than most of the other local canyon ascents. The climbs are just a bit more challenging.

I was welcomed on my exploratory hike by a small coral snake and a grouping of 12-15 Big Horn Sheep, typical to the 5,000' level of these canyon mouths.

The canyon splits less than a mile from the beginning. I took the right fork. It offered up a nice variety of rock then finally a 60' waterfall, pleasantly climbable, but the first forty feet are fully exposed. If you slip you will fall the full forty feet to the bottom. In general the progress up the canyon was stair step waterfalls with great side views of the surrounding convoluted and striated rock walls. The rock side cliffs are impressive.

Not too far above the big falls, the canyon narrowed then spread out into a broad upper meadow. I moved left and out across the dividing ridge between the two forks of the canyon. Gazing down into the left hand branch of the drainage I realized that it was the main part of the canyon, topping out substantially higher up, accessing The Mesa. That branch was more open, with long stretches of solid rock walkways... appealing, but not worth missing the big fall for? I'll have to check that out another day.

I continued on up onto and across The Mesa to descend Goat Springs Trail. Shorter options would have been down the next drainage to the north, RockaChucky, or around and down The Gap.

From my house, 1.5 miles away from the trailhead, and including the loop across The Mesa, down Goat Springs trail, then the walk back home (...another 1.5 miles) the hike only used up six hours at an easy pace.

Pock Rock Canyon was a very pleasant discovery; not for everyone, but for those looking for a bit of a change with a touch more challenge, yet shorter... possibly ideal.

Again, this drainage felt more dangerous. Caution should be exercised.

Do as I say, not as I do!

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 $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    From the main drag in Alamogordo, White Sands Blvd, take 1st Street east to Scenic Drive, then follow Scenic drive south until you reach the city water tank... move around the left side of the water tank onto Alamo Canyon Rd, and follow it to it's end. Park next to the city water system.
    page created by imike on Nov 14 2011 3:03 pm
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