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Goat Springs Canyon, NM

no permit
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Guide 1 Triplog  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 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,364 feet
Elevation Gain 680 feet
Accumulated Gain 690 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3.5
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Seasonal Waterfall
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 → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:48am - 6:07pm
0 Alternative
...Back In Time!
by imike

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.

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

2014-03-13 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 Reviews
    Goat Springs Canyon
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    With no out of town hikers signing up, we moved the hike to an earlier start... with an Exploratory drift to the south. The route held to the top of the cliff edges, lower than our normal traverse of this area. It was nice! Hit top of Goat South after ascending Goat Middle Falls. From there around and above Cabrito... then along the top of the Quiet Cliffs. Great rock and rock moments. For the most part we enjoyed better footing hiking along game trails... converting to hike trails should be easy? Crossing Gordo Cut we worked around into upper Quiet and on over the Dome Ridge and down into the Dome Cut. I'd forgotten what an exceptional canyon route that cut provides; excellent exit!

    I need to schedule a RockHound loop... there is great specimen rock along the entire route. Gotta think of a name for this loop... Goat Cliffs Wrap? GoatDome Loop? ???
    Goat Springs Canyon
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    Interesting bike...hike day!

    Started out around 7am riding over to the hike... couple miles... easy. 8am hike got off on time. We approached the canyon with an initial ascent of the old traditional trail... then cut over and dropped in. Unfortunately the most impactful aspect of the canyon today: tons on new graffiti!! It is a mess up in their. While this pattern is not new, most of the historic paint has been fading nicely. Alas... no more.

    We climbed to the huge flowover and found more new paint.

    From that point we moved south around the base of the cliffs to the next drainage then ascended the really nice cascading dryfall up to the Mesa Basin. Once there, we moved over to the Goat Springs Trail for an easy descent. I loaded up on Apples Ross had brought from his Orchard... and biked home...

    ...just in time to meet Luster. I switched from the round town computing mtn bike to a better mtn bike and we headed up to Cloudcroft. The drive up moved us nicely into cloudcover and cooler temps. The 80's in the valley transformed into low 60's!
    Luster is new to the area, so I showed him the first section of the Pumphouse Road ride. It was good, but there was much less color showing than I hoped for... oh, well. The upcoming Mystic Meander will likely miss out also!?

    Ride over... easy drive down the hill... and Luster dumped me off cross town. I shopped for food and socked 40#+ into a backpack for the six mile ride home... that may have been my biggest bit of training for the day!

    Left around 7am... home at 3:30.

    I am attempting to correct some pronounced metabolic issues, so on this day I fully restrained from any food intake. Zero calories since 6pm yesterday. I plan to eat my meal of the day at 6pm this evening. I checked my Blood Glucose level: 188... after over twenty hours fasting... and 6+ hours moderately hard exercise. Hmmmm... :o

    All good... now, might I head out the door for a little run to round out the day?
    Goat Springs Canyon
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    12 hikers out... and half were not signed up, so as many no-shows did not make it. Not certain why so many folks joined in... they should have come last week; that was a really nice loop. Oh, well... hauled a ton of trash out of the canyon and there are numerous new paint graffiti all over the place!! I need to take muriatic acid back up to clean the rock... and set some traps to eliminate the vandals!!? Mary had a slightly off day. Luster and Ross nursing sore feet from yesterday's big effort= no shows.

    Lots of younger local hikers out today... Nice!
    Goat Springs Canyon
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    trash pickup day... and unfortunately as we climbed out of the Slot... found a red arrow pointing to the hidden entrance! Likely the same idiots who junked up the canyon! So... back up via the trail to do something about that defacing? The owners of the canyon closed it down some years ago because of the mess made by groups; it could happen again? I hauled out a load today...

    pics over on google+ ... 1547215521
    Goat Springs Canyon
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    alternate route to El Gordo... Ross wanted to see new areas... so, up Goat Springs South... across the Goat Basin... into Quiet Canyon to catch The Big Cave... then along the Quiet Cliffs to enjoy the side canyon... the Crinoid Falls... the Slot... and then down to the lower ridge along the north side of Quiet Canyon.

    Lots of good stuff... exceptional fossil details... still trying to decide on the optimum route to enjoy the highlights.

    A few interesting falls... rocks breaking away.

    Ross cleaned the blockage in the Slot... we need to go back with some safety (rope/board)... but he was up!

    Warmer out! Where's the cold!!!
    Goat Springs Canyon
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    El Gordo
    Met Ross early for hike up to The Cave... opted for some route finding up and to the Slot first. Wow... it turned out to be exceptional, and too challenging for us to climb on our own. I'll come back with Kim to get up into the next level, or I'll carry in a climbing pole.

    The Cave turns out to be nice, but not a feature we will need to protect. It is hard enough to get up and in to discourage most folks... and the drama is all out in the entry and first 100 feet. It deadends soon after on the main branch... and climbing up to the side branch 40-60 feet to the back of the upper shelf... all crawling. Lots of crystal structure, but no huge drama.

    It is a great intermediate level hike destination.

    Looks like Cabrito Canyon may make a nice exit loop... if some issues can be resolved on the route along the Cliff bases.

    Need to haul out a ton of trash... someone was living up in under one of the cliff overhangs for awhile.

    A good day, and finished just as the floods begin!
    Goat Springs Canyon
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    Just a fun, meandering day. Terri's first time up Goat Springs Canyon... and the Mesa Ridge route... and Hershberger Peak. We approached along the edge of Alamo/Caballero Canyons... checking out a variety of spur canyon exploratory potentials.

    Hershberger a bit nicer than in years past; plant growth dying off the peak, opening the vista views.

    God littered T109 with multiple deadfalls! Must be an ATV hating female God; I like it.

    Ortega breezy.

    Couple of newby hikers on the "A" trail... we encouraged them to turn back and live to hike another day... with water and food along.

    Jim heading up as we exited the trail.

    I called it a day without heading back up for the needed AEG... massive leg cramps last night have me wanting to focus on eating/drinking to correct whatever the deficiency may have been; I'll make it up tomorrow?

    Good day.
    Goat Springs Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Needed some inspiration to get me moving, so hiked over and up Goat Springs Canyon. The "real" Goat Springs... along with the historic ascent... and a very interesting route unfolded. I need to add this into our Friday hiking schedule! Very Nice!

    So.. a bit of a less than day on the AEG... guess I'll make it up tomorrow?

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    The lower section of the drainage is now a concrete storm sewer! Park next to the Aquaduct along Scenic Drive, south of 1st Street. Walk along the drainage ditch... eventually crossing the section heading north towards Marble Canyon... or, cross at the pedestrian bridge around the turn. Walk into and up the canyon... staying to the left such that you avoid climbing the Goat Cut or Cabrito Canyon.
    page created by imike on Mar 13 2014 3:40 pm
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