Dog Canyon Trail 106

Oilver Lee State Park, New Mexico

Distance5.1mi
Elevation Gain4,286ft
Trailhead Elevation4,411ft
Top7,548ft
Elevation Min/Max4411/7548ft
Elevation Start/End4411/4411ft

Dog Canyon Trail 106

Dog Canyon Trail (106) is a hiking trail in Otero County, New Mexico. It is within Oilver Lee State Park and Lincoln National Forest. It is 5.1 miles long and begins at 4,411 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 10.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,286 feet.

Dog Canyon Trail (106) Professional Reviews and Guides

"A long day hike from the Tularosa Valley up into the Sacramento Mountains. Dog Canyon is one of several canyons in the steep western escarpment of the Sacramento Mountains. The rugged west face of the mountains rises more than 5,000 feet within a few miles from the Chihuahuan Desert of the Tularosa Valley to the lush Canadian Zone forest of the crest. The Dog Canyon Trail climbs over 3,100 feet in only 5.5 miles, making it a difficult hike, especially in summer.

The published one- way distance for this hike varies more than usual, from 4.2 to 6.4 miles. I used the Forest Service distance of 5.5 miles. The steepness of the trail and the high canyon walls probably interfere with even GPS measurements."

"Holding permanent running water and a steep route over the rampart of the southern Sacramento Mountains, Dog Canyon has been tramped by Mescalero Apaches, Mexican and American soldiers, and Texas ranchers. It is said that this route to the high country was a particular favorite of Apache war parties because of the ease with which they could ambush pursuers at the “eyebrow” section, a narrow ledge below 800-foot walls of limestone. In 1880, the Ninth Cavalry lost several men along this section when Apaches rolled large boulders down on them from above."

Dog Canyon Trail (106) Reviews

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6/24/2018
Dog canyon hike is a beautiful but difficult hike. It is long and climbs quite a bit. Great views of the canyon and the National Forest.
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10/20/2008
We did not do the whole trail, but rather went to the stream and the old cabin, approx 5 miles round trip. It was a fairly strenuous hike but would have been much more difficult had we gone the entire way. The changes in vegetation, and as always, the change that occurs at the stream is interesting, but not overwhelming.
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1/10/2008
Other trips: 3/15/2008, 6/6/2008, 10/12/2008 Wonderful trip! I completed this trek during all four seasons and say early fall proves the most rewarding. On the trail's flat straight-away in the canyon there is a remarkable flowered meadow which is unlike many places in this part of the world. I recommend hitting this trail no later than 7am so that the sun will stay out of your eyes during most of your initial ascent. The early starter of this trail should take note that some of the canyon is bright due to daylight while conversely other parts of the canyon are almost black. Truly remarkable and wonderful.
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5/20/2004
This is a beautiful trail. You can experience New Mexico's diversity all in one short 8 mile hike. From ponderosas, to amazing tall grass, and even a couple of patches of aspen, this trail has a little of everything. In the springtime; however, beware of some serious winds when coming around Elk Point to start along the crest. There is generally water along the length of the trail, but I would hesitate to call it lush. Also be ready to watch your step, there is a lot of horse traffic all around the loop. Not NM's best, but a good overnighter.
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9/10/2001
The only rough portion of the hike was the first quarter mile, which consisted of a series of steep switchbacks. The climb is strenuous but hikers are rewarded with the most incredible eastern view of the Tularosa Basin. I recomend hiking on a good visibilty day and early in the morning or around sun set with a flash light. There is no water on the trail and loose rocks along the trail make night hiking hazardous. There is a handicaped accessable trail along the creek with a campground nearby.
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Dog Canyon Trail (106) Photos

Trail Information

Oilver Lee State Park
Nearby City
Oilver Lee State Park
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Difficult
Skill Level
Camping
Additional Use
Views
Features
Lincoln National Forest, PO Box 288, Cloudcroft, NM 88317; (575) 682-2551
Local Contacts
Lincoln National Forest; Dog Canyon Trail leaflet (Forest Service); Sacramento Peak, Deadman Canyon, and Alamogordo South 7.5-minute USGS quads
Local Maps