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Ortega Canyon - 2 members in 17 triplogs have rated this an average 4.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
17 triplogs
  All Months
17 Triplogs
Jan
5
Feb
2
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2
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Mar 30 2017
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Mar 30 2017
imike
Canyoneering7.00 Miles 2,300 AEG
Canyoneering7.00 Miles
2,300 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Just a great canyon...best with smaller group moving at slower pace. We also tagged on Ortega south, noting a new traverse route over into Jim's Cut. Luster, Mary and Ross. Nice loop.
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Jan 07 2017
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Jan 07 2017
imike
Canyoneering6.10 Miles 1,900 AEG
Canyoneering6.10 Miles
1,900 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Second Saturday monthly group hike... bit more difficult route, yet worked nicely. Oddly enough, the group split into six groups before it was all said and done. The large dryfall turned a few hikers around. A second group exited to the side ridge at the top of the dryfall. Sal routed off to explore the upper north side cliff edges solo. At the upper dryfall, the group split up with some climbing the perilous cleft... and others exiting the south cut wall. Somehow, Josephine wandered back down the canyon at that point???

Luster and Clint volunteered to descend the canyon to pick up Josephine... yet never caught up to her. Fortunately, Sal spotted her from the cliff tops... walked her out.... in a way.

oddly, the huge group all finished the day back at the cars around the same time! Groups are not my thing... but I'll continue with this Series for a few more months.

It is a great canyon!
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Dec 15 2016
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Dec 15 2016
imike
Canyoneering8.00 Miles 2,100 AEG
Canyoneering8.00 Miles
2,100 ft AEG
Basic Canyoneering - Scrambling; easy climbing/downclimbing; frequent hand use; rope recommended; easy exit
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Ross and Mary along to check out the old route... and to locate the best new exit route, along the north side cliff edges. The group hikes here years ago included ascending Ortega Peak at the top of the canyon. That day tended to kill folks; they often never returned for another of our hikes.

This new route has less ascending... and a great vista view back down into the canyon they just climbed. It also takes three hours less, nice for the out of town hikers. I expect 15+ hikers to show up for the first Saturday hike up this route.

Luster met us up the canyon to help clear the route... overgrown over the last four years.

Mary felt like this hike was hard... but not too hard. it will be interesting to see what the group thinks of the new route. It exits at the huge upper dryfall with a fun climb around in the south fork cliffs.
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
2 archives
Dec 05 2015
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Dec 05 2015
imike
Canyoneering9.00 Miles 1,600 AEG
Canyoneering9.00 Miles
1,600 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
 no routes
22 hikers showed for the third month of the Canyon Light Series... nice day out, but concluded with an encounter with property owner on the exit...
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Jan 17 2015
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Jan 17 2015
imike
Canyoneering6.30 Miles 1,500 AEG
Canyoneering6.30 Miles
1,500 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
 no routes
Fourth month of the progressive canyon series was less progressive yet still very appreciated. last minute changes yielded seven hikers for this bit of up down/in out... and the shorter day seemed well enjoyed by everyone. Lisa will hopefully come again... and next time bring along more than a pint of water in a waist pack with no food! I gave her three qts of energy drink to carry her day; she did great! I was in the final stages (I hope!) of my first head cold since 1994... a bit dingy with the low grade fever... but it was a much easier day... on mileage and elevation... and no demanding climbs.

A good day.

Next month... back to harder!
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Jul 20 2014
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Jul 20 2014
imike
Canyoneering5.80 Miles 3,100 AEG
Canyoneering5.80 Miles
3,100 ft AEG
 no routes
nice loop with Ross... then 2nd hit looking for some other hikers... did not find them.

Ortega North is just a great canyon, and he exit loop using Ortega Ridge North above the huge dryfall was nice. We hiked the lower bench overlooking Lost Trail canyon south... and began wondering about the potentials up in that cut... oddly enough I have no memory beyond the lower dryfall... so: Wednesday: re-exploratory!

Dead Air Day!!!!
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Feb 24 2014
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Staircase Canyon - Yubao's CutSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Feb 24 2014
imike
Hiking9.70 Miles 4,300 AEG
Hiking9.70 Miles
4,300 ft AEG
 no routes
John over with a request to check out the caves and Leah's Lair... so, Brenda joined us for an exploratory add-on with Ortega Canyon North extension to Michal's Traverse. We got lucky and found a drop in right at the huge dryfall formation...

After the loop was completed, I stayed up and logged some laps... and a couple of hours of trail work.

good day. Now... a week of pictures to edit and post!
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Feb 12 2014
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Feb 12 2014
imike
Canyoneering11.60 Miles 4,100 AEG
Canyoneering11.60 Miles
4,100 ft AEG
Basic Canyoneering - Scrambling; easy climbing/downclimbing; frequent hand use; rope recommended; easy exit
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
Not paying attention hiking before sunrise... walked over into the wrong canyon! Provided a good reason to explore options for traversing up and over, finally getting into the right canyon... and heading up Jim's Cut... it was nice!

Explored more cave options at the Bluffs... then back down to meet Bill... for a trip up Terri's Cut. Today included Terri clearing all the upper Class II climbs! Nice!!!

Back up exploring the west side caves in the Bluffs... then over to Leah's Lair... full descent with Terri confirming the hot airflow coming out of the lower cave entry. Today there was no wind; something is generating hot air?!!

Skipped the trail work... home early. Exceptional weather!
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Nov 23 2013
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Staircase Canyon - Yubao's CutSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Nov 23 2013
imike
Hiking1.10 Miles 1,350 AEG
Hiking1.10 Miles
1,350 ft AEG
 no routes
Weather was cold and questionable. Everyone cancelled for the Meetup hike, so I deviated from the plan and headed up to check out the cut up in Ortega North that Yubao had begun to explore during a break on a group hike last year. He noted then it was way overgrown…

…it was… but just at the canyon mouth. Working through the blockade of boulder tumble and plants the canyon instantly opened up to bedrock. It stayed bedrock for a long time. And, for the first tenth of a mile it was staircase bedrock climbing close to 300’! It was pure fun; I had to wonder whether or not I had to give the hike a difficult rating… and I guess it is necessary. A grade of 3,000’ per mile… overgrowth and treacherous rock. Yet, I’m out of shape and was fully enjoying the hike.

It was more difficult higher up… so, I guess it will get a hard rating.

Once terminating the canyon I drifted over to Ortega Ridge and hiked on up to the base of Ortega Peak. I took the easy option of the trail down off the mountain. Oddly enough, I fell… first time this year… just walking on the official trail! Hundreds of hours over terrible terrain and I fall on the trail.

Okay.

I’m realizing there may be 100 local hikes available… immediately from the edge of town. 20 in the Basin… 15 Marble Canyon… 20+ Alamo Canyon… 10 Ridge hikes…. 20 upper connecting hikes… 15 Associated canyons…? Guess I should make a list. And, I am still discovering new routes… not sure when that will draw to a close. Of course, I could hop in my truck and drive a bit and it expands tremendously. Who Knew!?

Good that I hiked long on Saturday… woke up Sunday morning to 6” snow and still falling… I’ll hike, but it will be much shorter!

Monday: Still snowing!
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Mar 25 2013
Jim_H
avatar

 Guides 61
 Routes 58
 Photos 8,548
 Triplogs 1,878

42 male
 Joined Sep 08 2006
 Marana, AZ
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Mar 25 2013
Jim_H
Canyoneering7.20 Miles 2,500 AEG
Canyoneering7.20 Miles   3 Hrs   50 Mns   1.88 mph
2,500 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
I - Short 1-2 hours
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I want to start doing some of the other hikes around the area, and this seemed like a good one. Only went to the A trail, and then took that down. The canyon isn't quite as I remember it, but I more or less did OK. Still, it is a bit more fun as a social outing.
_____________________
Let's go Brandon!!!!! Let's go Brandon!!!!
Nov 04 2012
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Nov 04 2012
imike
Canyoneering8.70 Miles 3,250 AEG
Canyoneering8.70 Miles   9 Hrs      1.20 mph
3,250 ft AEG   1 Hour   45 Mns Break
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
Partners partners
Jim_H
timmer1978
Nice group from El Paso and Las Cruces over to get an idea of what the Alamo Canyons are like... Ortega is one of the "minor" canyons, but one I like... nice slow pace, closed out the day just as the sun set...Nice! Added in Ortega Peak to give them a bit extra for the day... and, stopped off at the old gold mine site.

Nice to finally have hikers from Alamo! One even a HAZ erite... Jim and Tim. MY solo days may be less?

Jim forcing the completion of the "A" trail up to Ortega Peak... it was going to happen; now it will happen sooner. Peak Baggers... what can you say about them...

Nice day on the mountain.

Note: I passed out over a gallon of fluid to the other hikers... and food. These are dry canyons, warm days and long. Extra is better than less more often than not. As easy as the miles and elevation gains suggests, these hikes by their nature demand a bit more.

All pure good!
Named place
Named place
Ortega Peak
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
1 archive
Nov 04 2012
Jim_H
avatar

 Guides 61
 Routes 58
 Photos 8,548
 Triplogs 1,878

42 male
 Joined Sep 08 2006
 Marana, AZ
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Nov 04 2012
Jim_H
Canyoneering9.00 Miles 3,100 AEG
Canyoneering9.00 Miles   8 Hrs      1.29 mph
3,100 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners partners
imike
A solid hike, and one that will draw me back. I am really excited about Marble Canyon next weekend, and that may end up being an alternating fitness hike. Really pretty, and it becomes obvious that wildlife is in the canyons, not on the ridges. Very enjoyable day.
Fauna
Fauna
Tarantula
Named place
Named place
Ortega Peak
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset
_____________________
Let's go Brandon!!!!! Let's go Brandon!!!!
1 archive
Oct 21 2012
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega PeakSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Oct 21 2012
imike
Hiking9.00 Miles 3,400 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   7 Hrs   5 Mns   1.57 mph
3,400 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
HAZ - Event
Only three other hikers showed up from the Las Cruces Meetup group, but small was nice. This was Terri's first ever canyon... she did great, and I think she impressed herself! She'll be back for more unless her husband discovers just what it is she is out doing. Yubao and Samat got to hit a canyon they had not done before. A good day had by all?

Did not see the two bear from last year... but did see scat; they must still be hanging around in there.

Very awkward moment hiking down the "A" trail... came to very distinctive dead tree, complete with carvings in trunk, right next to trail. The only tree along a two mile stretch. I'd never noticed the tree before... never even saw it! I've passed this point over 400 times over the last four years...? I suggested the tree was an alien import... done yesterday after I'd passed it four times in that one day alone. The idea did not seem to fly... Oh, well... very extended senior moment?
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Jan 29 2012
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Jan 29 2012
imike
Canyoneering9.10 Miles 3,700 AEG
Canyoneering9.10 Miles
3,700 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Another Meetup.com outing... though most of the Meetup folks signed on failed to show! Amy and Unchip hiked, and Amy ended amoung the walking wounded by the end of the day. Her climbing was exceptional but she was just not in good enough shape for the 3,000' of elevation gain... she had a tough time making it back down the trail. The rest of the group did great, adding in Ortega Peak. Everyone felt the canyon itself was much nicer than I had suggested... guess I need to rethink it's features.

Highlight of the hike: walking right by the two bear cubs then have then come out of hiding from the rocks... with one hightailing it on down canyon while the other followed us up to the next waterfall and lingered around below us. Too bad none of us were carrying a decent camera!!

I had an off day... respiration way up!? Have to play around with that issue tomorrow.
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Jan 15 2012
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Jan 15 2012
imike
Canyoneering9.70 Miles 3,300 AEG
Canyoneering9.70 Miles
3,300 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took a Las Cruces Meetup group up the canyon, then explored cross country, connecting with T119... then added a bit of extra elevation to round out the day...
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Jan 13 2012
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Jan 13 2012
imike
Canyoneering10.30 Miles 3,100 AEG
Canyoneering10.30 Miles
3,100 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Oct 27 2010
imike
avatar

 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Ortega CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Oct 27 2010
imike
Canyoneering14.20 Miles 5,300 AEG
Canyoneering14.20 Miles
5,300 ft AEG
Basic Canyoneering - Scrambling; easy climbing/downclimbing; frequent hand use; rope recommended; easy exit
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Continuing with my Alamo area canyon and ridge off trail exploratories, today was one I really expected very little to come of. So many of these narrow out, cliff out, or shrub out, forcing an early exit to an adjoining ridge to get out of the drainage. This one, well it was not like that. It was a delight. While no great towering drama of side cliffs, it did have a constantly changing rock formation to enjoy. There were numerous bedrock ledges nicely angled up, and narrow passages, minor bouldering... and a great 40' slotted stairstep waterfall formation. The first 2.5 miles was just nice. Above that point, the canyone cliffed out, forcing a very shrubby bushwhack, then a 15' vertical climb... very nice chimney crack (no exposure!!) that I thought was going to be a piece of cake until I got to the top edge and noted it had a toll keeper: young agave blocking the lip. Oh, well...

From there on, the canyon narrowed... lots of bouldering and minor climbs, with lots of rotten rock. Still, it provided a clear path all the way to the top. Can't complain about that.

From there, I followed the Ortega/Dry Canyon Traverse over into Dry Canyon... first time to follow that path all the way down to the bottom of Dry... and though I've hiked Dry Canyon dozens of times, I could not begin to imagine where this trail intersected. Once over and down I could see why... it starts out as just a non-path off of a jeep track. If you did not know it was there, you'd likely never find its beginning.

I stopped for a lunch break and was surprised to have my legs cramping up... must have been from the vertical climbs; not used to those yet and probably used way too much energy. Oh, well... after I got going again it cleared up.

Once over into Dry I figured I might as well do the long loop around the back side of Ortega Peak, hit Hershberger Peak, then return on the old reliable T119. Noted that they had installed new east side trailhead sign for T119... but in a mile from West Side Road??? Odd... probably to allow ATV to have access to that mile portion... but a bit odd to have a big sign out a mile in from the road access!

It was interesting to spend some time gazing across the drainages. As I slowly hike all the ridges and canyons the area is coming into a different perspective focus for me... with connections and disconnects now included when I look at an area. Years more needed to cover it all, just in this one small area. More and more I am coming to like and appreciate the hiking here. The day hikes in Tucson were nice, but you still have to hop in a car to get to them, and the canyons there do not rival what is here. There must be over 20 ridge and canyon hikes here in Alamo within walking distance of my house.

If I continue to discover little gems like Ortega Canyon, they'll be nice years.
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
average hiking speed 1.48 mph

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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