FEBRUARY 2018 • 25
HIGH PLACES • GABRIELE TEICH
Finding a place through the cracks
ow – you might wonder – does a person from Germany know or find all these hikes in remote areas around New Mexico? Well, today I will let you in on a little secret. If you are a faithful reader of this column you might have heard me mention a hiking group before. Our group is called the “Jornada Hikers” and these hiking fans found to each other on the meetup website. Albeit the fact that there are hundreds of members in the group, only about 10 to 20 show up for a hike on any given day. You know how those things go. Good intentions are as far as most people will take it. And admittedly we’ve been more active at times and then slacked for months at a time. Either it was too hot or too cold or too windy or we were too busy with other stuff. In other words, life got in the way. But if and when we do go with them we have never regretted it. Instead we come home with another great new hiking experience and usually some fun stories to remember. The hike to Hidden Canyon was no exception. The drive out on Corralitos Road was rather long but once we parked the vehicles, Steve, our guide for that day pulled out a fresh home baked pumpkin bread for everyone to share. What a treat. And we hadn’t even hiked yet! The canyon’s name is aptly chosen, you wouldn’t even suspect it existed if you look from the road, but the entrance is only 100 yards away. The ground suddenly drops away where big boulders have tumbled down a ravine. Our group clambered down, some slow, some faster. At the bottom we waited for everyone to arrive and then headed up a side arm to the right. After a while — okay, a longish while — it lead to a waterfall structure. I call it structure, because no water was present when we were there in late November. But there definitely could be at other times of the year. I find it
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Hikers make their way through Hidden Canyon in Doña Ana County. (Photo by Gabriele Teich)
difficult to imagine the hike up the fall with actual water present. Maybe one would have to scramble up the sides. It took some arm strength to pull up over the smooth rocks, but we all managed. It was the most memorable spot on the hike, including a wonderful shady picnic spot under a big tree. After that climb the trail peters out and we bushwhacked our way back to our cars. If you are directionally challenged, don’t be afraid: You can see the vehicles in the distance, so you will know where to go. Except, Mother Nature has put several arroyos between you and your car and you will go up and down a few more times before you click that car door open. If you go: Take the airport exit on I-10 west of Las Cruces and follow the frontage road to Corralitos Road. Then you take that for 20.7 miles. Pull over to
the left and park. Walk away from the road and soon you come to the canyon entrance as described above. This hike is on the more strenuous side because of its steepness, although it’s less than 3 miles long. There is quite a bit of bouldering involved, so you should be surefooted and wear sturdy boots. Bring lots of water, not only for the hike itself but also the drive out there and back. It will take the better part of a day. Enjoy the trails! See you there! Of German origin, Gabriele Teich has called Las Cruces her home for almost 20 years — and loved every minute of it, hiking the mountains in the immediate surrounding area and all over this beautiful state.
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