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Non Technical Local Canyon Gem

Sun, 2014-09-21
Michael Altherr

Escobas Canyon bisects the Pajarito Plateau separating Burnt Mesa from Escobas Mesa within the confines of Bandelier NM. It drains a large swath of land South of NM4 and funnels water into Frijoles Canyon. The canyon is rarely visited and its entrances are protected by NM locust, thistle and a variety of local shrubs that will leave their mark on those not properly clothed. Our track will start a few hundred yards E of the Ponderosa Campground. Car pools can be arranged by meeting at Sullivan Field at 08:00 on Sunday morning, and we will then travel to the TH at the Ponderosa Campground. Participants from White Rock might prefer to meet at the TH instead of traveling to Los Alamos. Be sure to bring your Federal Lands Pass to leave on your dashboard if your are driving. After about 30 min. of scrambling the canyon opens up into a broad sandy boulevard flanked by hoodoos and steepening banks. The canyon provides a few additional challenges as we proceed downstream. Shortly after passing a large hoodoo dubbed the Guardian (about 90 min from the car), we will leave the canyon, ascending to the top of Escobas Mesa and return to the cars. Estimated time is 3-4 hours. Bring 1-2 liter of water and a snack. If it is raining or there is a significant risk of rain, this trip will not go. This trip is limited to eight.

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