Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
...Back In Time!
If folks pay attention, the most dramatic Dryfall formation immediately out of Alamogordo is the huge rock expanse up Goat Springs Canyon.
Unfortunately, the official Goat Springs Trail does not go near this formidable cascade. In fact, the current official trail hardly enters the canyon. Starting over at the mouth of Marble Canyon, the trail winds around and up, briefly entering and then crossing the canyon at the upper spring... on its way up to The Mesa.
Even the traditional official route barely skirted the canyon. While it did manage to start off at the mouth of the right cut, it rounded up and around to follow the high ridge above the Dryfall. At least it gave some initial views of the better parts of the falls. The Traditional route, taking off from the pedestrian bridge across the Aquaduct, is still the most used trail, primarily because no one can locate the current official Forest Service Trail.
Instead of Official or Traditional... try Historic!
If you want the better experience, and the one taken by most everyone for many years, simply hike up the canyon bottom.
The route is steep, with clambering and scrambling. It is nicely cleared of debris from the generations of teenage wanderings... and it goes to exceptional places.
The real Goat Springs, at least the really impressive Goat Springs, lies at top of this tumbled route, immediately below the last pourover lip of the Dryfalls.
Here you will discover where the Barberry Sheep score their townside water supply. You will also discover the reason the Canyon and area were closed to public access for years: teen graffiti defacing the cliffs!
From the Spring, work your way steeply up and into the narrow slot on the north side of the canyon. It will lead you up and out, intersecting the official trail at the upper spring.
This exceptional route will allow you to really experience Goat Springs Canyon...
... go explore!
Note: You can loop down and around on the Official/Traditional Trail for an easy finish!
Check out the Triplog.
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.
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