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Arcente Canyon, NM

no permit
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Guide 0 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 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,397 feet
Elevation Gain 1,000 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 Hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.4
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:52am - 5:59pm
0 Alternative
by imike

This short canyon hike is at the lower end of being considered a canyoneering experience. There is some very minor scrambling up and over small dry falls. There may be more bushwhacking... and crawling around and under large shrubs. The redeeming aspect of the hike is a rocky gorge section that you get to pass through on your way up. Before you climb out on to West Side road you can linger among the tree bound, sculptured rock section. It makes the hike.

To get to this canyon you have to approach up or down Dry Canyon Trail (t5574). You will need to orient from a map or GPS siting. Fortunately, it originates at the only hair pin turn along Dry Canyon trail... from the canyon mouth the trail bends back around and climbs up and away from the drainage; you cannot miss it.

Once on top, you can follow West Side road around to either of the Dry Canyon trailheads... or, head over for one of the other canyoneering routes to follow down and around. If you are hiking from Alamogordo, I'd suggest enjoying Caballero Canyon North as a pleasant return route.

The obvious approach for this canyon from the city is to loop over the mountain using the Ortega/Dry Canyon Traverse. The closest access is the Dry Canyon trailhead off of Hiway 82.

There is a looping option off of the Upper Dry Canyon Trail (t5573) wherein you begin to follow the trail down to the old mine sites, but instead of heading back south along the trail, drop off to the north, re-entering the Arcente Canyon drainage, following any of the downhill routes back into the canyon proper.

This is an easier canyon trek... great for a lazier Fall day.


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2012-10-09 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 Review
    Arcente Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Hog Canyon
    Finally made it up to explore this promising ravine... Yuboa called and wanted to hike today and tomorrow. I told him it would be slow, and into unknown territory. I'm way out of shape and just beginning to get back into a hiking pattern. Still, he wanted to share the day, so 8am at the trailhead and off up Dry Canyon. The approach hike is a touch over three miles up canyon, departing Dry Canyon trail at the hairpin switchback out of the creek bottom. From that point we enjoyed some nice bedrock bottoms, but not for all that far. The lower portion of the canyon was not really up to what I had hoped it would be... somewhat over grown in spots and just not enough rock overall. Then, about 2.5 miles up the cut the canyon walls narrowed, the loose tree lined slopes turning into steep, overhanging ledges and a nice variety of sculptured rock. It was just enough to salvage the hike. The canyon moved from a 2-3 out of ten to a 5-6 out of ten. I might go back.

    Be topped out at West Side road around 7400' and headed for Upper Dry Canyon trail to loop back down to the approach trail... exiting that route and going more directly with an off trail drop in a steeper side drainage, which hit Hog canyon close to where we had entered it to start the canyon hike that morning.

    The day was a bit more than I am in shape to handle, but it was pure fun. Lots of crawling in and around debris, and on all fours under overgrowth. Pulse floating in the 140's when it should have been in the 120's, but that is what being out of condition will do. I figure I'm hiking at 20% of potential... Yuboa thinks I might still out hike everyone over in the Las Cruces/ El Paso clubs...? I doubt it, but it is a nice thing to hear at my age. I committed to lead a canyon hiking series this fall and winter for all those clubs; time to get back in shape!

    Note: this was really Ascente Canyon... Pig Canyon is north a couple of drainages!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    From Alamogordo, follow hiway 82 approximately six miles up to the turnoff to your right (just past the runaway truck ramp on your left) and turn in and down into the gun range area. Follow the dirt track straight ahead to its end... at the Dry Canyon Trailhead. Hike the Dry Canyon Trail up to the mouth of the canyon at the hairpin turn.
    page created by imike on Oct 09 2012 6:12 am
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