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Cave Canyon, NM

Guide 16 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
no permit
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,815 feet
Elevation Gain 980 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,050 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.75
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
1  2014-11-20
Picnic Canyons
32  2014-11-20
Picnic Canyons
28  2014-08-01
Alamo Point
10  2014-01-19
Deadman Canyon: North Fork
16  2013-11-16 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   Mar, Nov, Oct, Apr → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:18am - 7:02pm
0 Alternative

Enter At Your Own Risk!
by imike

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If you are taking in the sites as you start up Alamo Canyon Trail (t104) it is hard not to notice and begin to wonder about the dark slot high up in the cliffs to the north. It appears to be an opening cut out of the rock face with a narrow trench falling away below.

It is.

The approach appears to be a terrible bushwhack up a narrow defile, with unclimbable cliffs below the cave.

It is not.

If you make the entry into the first side canyon heading up towards those cliffs (less than .2 miles from the trail head parking) you will think you are in for a less than fun push through overgrown shrub and cacti…

…crossing the old Alamo city water pipe, rusting away across the cut, you push past a few odd shrubs… and then… a trail!

Cutting to the right up the side of the wash, a very nice trail carries you up and on to the bench that divides the two drainages that comprise Cave Canyon.

You could hike up the bottom of that second drainage, but with this very nice trail access there is no reason to make that more difficult effort. Stay with the trail up to the saddle. At the saddle, hike over and look down into the lower portions of Pock Rock Canyon. Then, follow any of a dozen game grazing paths up to the bottom of the canyon slot.

You will note a large chock rock at the mouth of the slot… it blocks your passage. Simply move around to your right to access the next level up, moving up the eastern cut. Once to the base of the cliffs immediately above, move back into the slot to your left. From there it is a steep scramble up to the cave. It may be a bit overgrown.

Once at the cave… at present there is a six foot high ledge, overhanging, that has to be scaled to enter.

Note the sign painted on the cave wall, complete with skull and crossbones: “Enter Here At Your Own Risk”… take heed: beyond this point may lie monsters.

This is not really a canyoneering hike, yet its steep grade (averages 1400’ per mile!) and the nature of the upper section makes it more like moving through that more difficult setting. If you go high on this hike take care.

The eastern drainage continues on up a few hundred feet higher than the cave level… providing access to The Mesa and possibly a connecting loop over to Pock Rock Canyon.

This shorter outing gives you a great workout and impressive vista views. It is worth the effort.

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2013-11-16 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 hike
    From the far south end of Scenic Drive (on the east side of Alamogordo), take Alamo Canyon Road around the left side of the city water tank, following it to its far eastern end at the upper City Water Works... park there at the trailhead for T104, Alamo Canyon Trail. Begin on T104, looking to your left for the first canyon cut... within .2 mile. Look up for the dark outline of the cave!
    page created by imike on Nov 16 2013 12:12 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
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