Dog Canyon is a 10.2 mile out and back trail located near Alamogordo, New Mexico and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from September until May.
it was beautiful, the fog made it extra majestic!
Awesome hike! First mile is a big challenge, use walking sticks.
This is not an "extremely difficult" trail. Well, at least the first 3.25 miles HA HA. There is about a 2.6k ft elevation gain in the first 3 miles but there are some good flat spots and scenic stops to keep your motivation up. The trails are marked well and the views of the canyon and to the S/SW are amazing. I'll definitely be going up here to camp and look at the stars soon. Absolutely recommend.
Trail was fairly challenging. The elbow can make you a little nervous. So if you think the first mile is tough be sure to turn around before the elbow. Did the whole trail + went to the high peak for an overlook of white sands in 9 hours. Start early, bring lots of water, food, and I recommend walking sticks. Loved this trail!
Amazing view. Decently challenging if you all the way up then down. We didn't see wildlife other than a hummingbird and some lizards. Lots of mule deer skat though. We did come across cougar and coyote skat as well. Will be coming back guaranteed.
Okay, I did it a bit differently. I mountain biked from Sunspot down to Dog Canyon. Like other reviews, the views are beautiful and bring plenty of water. The hike or bike will take on much more meaning if you read some of the history of the canyon beforehand to include Apache and Calvary chases, Old Frenchy and such. Keep your eyes out for mule deer above you and rattlesnakes below your feet. Be ready for large temperature changes going up or down!
Very beautiful hiking! We left at 9h30 on a fresh sunny day of january 31st. Coming from France we loved hiking among cactus, yuccas and massive cliffs. The only disappointment is there was no water in the canyon at that dry period so we missed the waterfalls. Tough luck! We extended our trail up to Joplin Ridge at 7700ft for an extra 45 minutes walking out and back but offering us a magnificent view on the plain from Orogrande to Tularosa via White Sands. Splendid landscape! We made that trail in 5h30 but running on the way back.
I loved this hike. One of the best day hikes I've done. Incredible scenery both in the canyon and out across the Basin. Views for miles. The canyon walls are stunning in their color and size. Love how the hike crosses different landscapes (including meadows) and you end up on top of the canyon walls. It's tough, they're not joking when they say 3000 feet up, but anyone with decent fitness should be OK. Recommend doing it in winter (it was actually cold at the top) if there is little snow on the ground. The last 2 miles is the really steep stuff but the track is in good condition. Brilliant place to explore.
great location and beautiful landscape
This trail almost killed me...but it was mostly my fault (and I'll be doing it again) The first part is a series of switchbacks up the side of the 1st plateau. Not really difficult, just uphill & no shade. Great views of the canyon to your left. As you round the last corner, you can get a fantastic view of the whole desert & White Sands behind you. The top of the 1st plateau is flat hiking through scrub. Tons of cicadas here serenading you. You end up hiking along the edge of the canyon & the trail starts to wind & undulate a bit more. There is only one area with some shade & stone bench for miles, take advantage. The trail eventually starts winding up the 2nd plateau, again you have great views of the canyons & trail behind you. About 3/4ths of the way up there is a large overhang to the left, with a nice shaded hollow. Perfect place to rest, drink & snack. From here you get an amazing view of where you started. Gives a sense of desolation & grandeur. Once you get to the top of the 2nd plateau, the whole topography changes. It really took my breath away the 1st time. You are now in a grassy meadow with bushes & scattered trees. The canyon walls tower over 1,000 ft on each side. Amazing after such barren hiking. There is a large boulder @ the edge of the canyon I climbed for a photo op & some shaded logs to sit on too. From here the trail starts down into the canyon. It's pretty short. At the bottom there is a barely there stream but lots of shade, trees & areas to camp out. There is also 3 rubble walls that used to be the line cabin. REST, EAT & HYDRATE! The last section will rise over 1,000 ft in about 1/8th of a mile. Once again, amazing views, but the hiking is strenuous. You are now going up the opposite side of the canyon. There is a cool section where water sometimes cascades down. You start winding around the sheer face of the canyon, there is no shade & the trail is narrow & drops off so watch your footing. Eventually you will level off into sunspot, where you can continue on to the road. The way back is what almost did me in. I'm in excellent shape & had maintained a fast pace & only rested for 15 minutes...it was also in June. My legs cramped & the heat was oppressive. Through sheer grit & determination, I made it back. Bring lots of water (3L is barely enough), take periodic breaks & I would rest for at least 30-45 min @ the line cabin.
We only ended up going about 2.5 miles in (stopped at the rest bench) due to some time constraints we were on, but it was a pretty easy hike. Maybe the altitude difference from Colorado helped us, but the views were great. We saw a bunch of quail on the sides of the trail, but no rattlesnake (we were hoping to see at least one) We really enjoyed it and hope to come back to do the whole thing! We only saw one other person that ran past us in the opposite direction. Very peaceful hike.
Good Trail. The first part of the trail is relatively easy. Very little cover so wear sunscreen. Once you get to the old cabin, that's a good turn around point. If you go on, you'll be hiking on a single track along a cliff with a very steep incline for another 1400 feet or so. Bring a ton of water and watch out for rattlesnakes. We came across one right on the trail about a mile in.