Dog Canyon Trail 106

HARD 61 reviews
#5 of 43 trails in

Dog Canyon Trail 106 is a 9.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Alamogordo, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.9 miles
3559 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips



wild flowers


2 days ago

My family and I have made multiple trips, but today was the first time we actually completed the route, thanks to remnants of a tropical cyclone moderating the temperature and giving us some much needed rain. Starting from Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, it's not so bad up to Frenchie's Line Cabin, but then it gets very steep and very narrow. There are wash outs on the narrow trail, and could be potentially dangerous, and looking around, particularly up, could become hazardous while walking. Once we got to about 4 miles, the trail is much less picturesque for the duration. We did have a wonderful time, but having finally conquered Dog Canyon, I wonder about doing it as often as we have in the past.

2 months ago

Tough hike once I reached 3.5 miles.. stopped at 4 miles . The hike back to truck was slightly rough suggest good hiking shoes and thick socks.

Feel great & stronger.

2 months ago

If your not in shape your gonna be hurting

2 months ago

This was a great hike, views and terrain, awesome! The weather was mild being February (a plus). Being a 42 yr old Midwesterner with no significant local elevation changes this hike was a challenge but doable, 5.5 hrs out/back. You need to be in reasonable physical condition to complete it though. Also, must take plenty of water and some snacks. Well worth the planning!

3 months ago

Amazing views and wildlife. Like others have said, moderate trail til around the 2.5 mile mark, then becomes much harder. The transition will be quite obvious, though.

3 months ago

Great trail, made it 2.5 miles in before my hiking partner and was gassed and needed to turn back. The views are amazing and the trail is challenging, definitely bring lots of water.

3 months ago

Beautiful hike, one of the best I've done so far in New Mexico. Canyon is stunning, views breathtaking. Except for the first mile I didn't meet anyone at the trail (a sunday in june). Trail is easy to follow, but between milemarker 3 and 4 it can be tough, in some places you'll have to watch your step. Last mile and a half until dirt road is relatively level.

3 months ago

This was SUCH an amazing hike! It is exceptionally difficult- we made it 2.5 in, through the second set of switchbacks! Absolutely GORGEOUS.

Bring LOADS of water, maybe some snacks.

We will be going back!

By the way, bring 5 dollars cash, and be prepared for an all-day experience!

5 months ago

Made it to 3.5mi marker in about 2.5hrs. Took about 1.75hrs to get back down to the parking lot. Costs $5 per vehicle to park for the day to hike. The views were great and the trail was well marked. Only ran into three other groups of hikers the whole time we were out there (Christmas Eve). There was water available in the creek by the cabin ruins (2.75mi up) if you need a spot to refill. We each brought two liters a piece and it was plenty. Definitely recommend.

5 months ago

I have only been able to hike a section of this trail. Too long and strenuous for me. Very scenic.

5 months ago

Dang. I love this trail. I didn't make it to the end because I knew I'd run out of sunlight but it's now on my bucket list to come back and complete it. The views, the plants and landscape, are incredible. And I love the challenge of it. It's not for the faint of heart but most anyone can do the first mile and see the awesome views!

8 months ago

This trail reinforces the fact that a "hard" trail in the mountains is in a totally different league from a "hard" trail where I live in north Texas. This was both the most challenging and most scenic trail I've ever hiked. If you are an inexperienced hiker wanting to push your boundaries, the first 2.5 miles of this trail will do the trick. To go beyond 2.5 takes a lot of effort.

10 months ago

We did this trail back in Feburary and it is easily one of the best hikes ive done. We drove in to the top of the mountain using backroads and left another car at the bottom. Even though we only did a straight through hike, it is still very challenging

10 months ago

Thanks to the douche bag who spray painted up there.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ok let me start off in saying this was a awesome hike with great view of the valley and white sands once your up. That said it is a difficult hike you go up probably a 1000ft to the plateau which is about 2.5 to 3.0 in the next like 2250ft climb is gonna be done in about a mile and a half along a drop off with loose rocks so if your just and every day nature hiker and your dying bye the plateau turn around. For views the plateau is a good spot and I would say about four miles up invest your out of the canyon and about 5 and a quarter there is a big rock that will be on your side that's a good view. Take plenty of water let me say that again take plenty of water and I would recommend a snack. Other then that amazing hike.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Only went up to the first plateau as we had a 30lb little one with us. Views were still gorgeous. Plan to come back and complete the entire trail

Sunday, April 16, 2017

i'm out of shape. only made it 2 miles in. the views were great. the blooms were beautiful. and the trail was challenging. hopefully next time i can get to the top. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Me and my daughter hike this, some parts a little hard but overall moderate.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

very hard in some aeras

Sunday, December 04, 2016

it was beautiful, the fog made it extra majestic!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Awesome hike! First mile is a big challenge, use walking sticks.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

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.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

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!

Friday, April 29, 2016

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.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

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!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

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.

Friday, January 22, 2016

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.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

great location and beautiful landscape

Sunday, October 11, 2015

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 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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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.

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