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Alamo Narrows, NM

no permit
94 0 0
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 4 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,083 feet
Elevation Gain 911 feet
Accumulated Gain 920 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.47
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Perennial 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   Late Winter to Early Winter
Sun  5:51am - 6:00pm
0 Alternative
A Rocky Road!
by imike

Alamo Canyon offers a variety of hiking options, providing a route from the city all the way to the top of the mountain range. The official trail (t104) has the interesting distinction of being a non-trail... basically following the canyon bottom until it reaches the site of the old mine around four miles up canyon.

At the mine, the nature of the canyon changes... the sides draw in and some dramatic rock features narrow in on the trail... and at that very point the trail shifts out of the canyon. Angling up the north side, it works its way over to the old cabin site at the intersection with the Alamogordo City Water Maintenance road: the Aquaduct Ridge Route. The official trail follows that road on up the canyon to West Side Road, crossing the canyon bottom only once along the way.

Oddly enough, just where they chose to depart the canyon bottom is where hiking along the bottom just got interesting.

There is water... a running stream! This is a rare feature in the Sacramento Mountains. An easy walk along the drainage from the mouth of Good Canyon up to where the road crosses the canyon is constant stream flow with small waterfall features.

Once across the roadway, and staying in the canyon, you enter a rock bound gully that will provide you with constant play as you work your way up and over the many 12-20' falls. There will be a few taller ones, and a few you may elect to bushwhack around. For the most part, you'll be doing some nice full body stretching as you climb the variety of rocks.

My first impression was that I was climbing and walking within a deposit of lava... but more likely it is a broken open exposure of a section of underground cave... limestone formations with the look and feel of calcium deposits. The areas are narrow... often even tight, all the way up to the final formation that tops you out into the gully that cuts along the north side of the huge meadow below West Side Road. At that point you are back to the road and T104.

For a great off trail loop, consider approaching from Caballero Canyon, up and over Stark Peak... and off trail down the south side into the meadow gully.

This upper finish to Alamo Canyon is worth checking out. You have the emergency relief of knowing the "real" trail is never far away... combined with the pleasure of the gurgling brook section.

It is worth rounding out your Alamo Canyon experience with this great off trail section!

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your canyon trip to support this local community.

2013-05-12 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
    Alamo Narrows
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Scheduled to just knock off the slightly more difficult Alamo Peak hike, but once up to West Side Road my mindset was drifting over to hit places I had yet to be... and I remembered that I still needed to finish peaking out on Stark Peak... so, right hand turn and I was off.

    The peak offered little new, but it was interesting in the potential for dropping off trail on the south side, hitting yet another unexplored area: the upper canyon in the Alamo drainage. On the way down I became sidetracked with some game trails that looked to offer access out to the far end of the Stark Peak ridgeline. That failed to work out... I backtracked and descended to the huge upper meadow area and began looking for a good drop in point to the gully.

    The canyon drainage in that area is a narrow, deep slit. 12' deep... dirt. Walking down in the gully there was a transition to rock walls... very odd rock walls... then waterfall drops! It stayed very interesting all the way down to where the official trail crossed the canyon bottom... by then, the narrow defile was over, along with all of the neat downclimbs. It switched over to a narrow stream section which continued all the way down to where the official trail connected with the canyon at the old mine site.

    So, it was a few thousand feet less elevation gain than planned for the day... and a lot more off trail, full body workout. It was more fun.

    For some reason, this year I seem to need that extra push that comes with exploratory hikes. They energize and motivate.

    I knew my Monday hike would be well above the level of a resting day hike, so less today was just fine.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To canyon trip
    Connect to this spur trail section off upper T104, entering the gully along the north side of meadow section below West Side Road (FR 90)... or, at the mine site down below, remain in the canyon bottom instead of following the official trail up to the water line road. You could also enter at the mouth to Good Canyon.
    page created by imike on May 12 2013 4:46 pm
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