Next to the Pistachio Ranch, the hike up Dog Canyon had to be the highlight of our stay at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park outside of Alamogordo. It was actually Dog Canyon National Recreational Trail #106 that leaves the State Park and goes into the Lincoln National Forest. A couple of days later, we heard that the entire Lincoln National Forest was closed because of the high risk of fires, but we weren’t sure if it applied to this part of the park.
The whole trail is 5.5 miles one-way and climbs over 3,100 feet. This was longer and higher than Guadalupe Peak in Texas, so we decided that we would just hike up three hours and then turn around. There wasn’t really anything at the end of the trail, but there were a couple of interesting way-points along the trail.
We ended up hiking to the Highpoint Vista which is at the 4.5 mile point and took 3 and a half hours to get there. We had a great view down the canyon. You can even see our trailer in the campground at the bottom, if you look closely. You can also see White Sands in the distance. The trail guide did say that the trail was a “challenge even for experienced hikers” and they weren’t exaggerating. It was narrow and rocky in places with steep cliffs. I got a shot of the trail that we had already hiked in the distance. Overall, I would say this was a great hike. One of the best we’ve done.
On the way up, we spotted “something” on the cliffs across the canyon. They were practically climbing straight up the wall. We still aren’t sure what we saw. I’m attaching the best photos – if you think you know what these were please let me know. They could have been some kind of goat – but they aren’t known to be in the park and these clearly had curved horns.