Chavez Canyon Day Hike

March 25, 2006

Leader and Author:  Francesco Grilli

Trip Participants:  Linda Klosky, Leslie Champ, Mark Zander, Martin Staley, Francesco Grilli

Francesco's Photo Gallery : click here   Jan's Photo Gallery (4/20/2008): click here

Climbing Beta: click here

Hiking Reference: "Hiking Adventures in Northern New Mexico", by Joan and Gary Salzman

After gathering in the parking lot of the Northern New Mexico Community College, out of Espanola, we drove past Abiquiu for 15.8 mules, then drove west (left) on dirt road FM 151 for 12.5 miles and parked.  This long dirt road is a 13 mile road that leads to the Christ in the Desert Monastery.  The traihead is about 0.3 miles before the monastery, and a short walk from the parking area in the same direction.  The first part of the trail is a old dirt road that leads to the entrance of Chavez Canyon.  The canyon narrows quickly and offers many Utah like views.  It soon splits into two branches, where the adventure begins.



We followed the right branch, which immediately offered an awkward passage requiring some butt-jamming.  The next obstacle was a smooth pour-off, which Mark climbed putting a couple of pieces of protection in a crack, mostly for psychological aid.  The soles of our boots were by now full of mud, which surely didn't give us good friction on the rock.  The final passage to get out of the canyon was apparently simple; in reality it required some belly moves, surely not elegant, yet very effective.



We came back on the left side of the canyon, walking on very unstable terrain until we arrived just above the pour-off of the initial left branch.  We continued upstream in the narrow canyon, which again offered a couple of interesting climbing passages.  The second one, which had good exposure, was bravely led by Mark.  We descended again on unstable terrain and had fun rappelling and climbing up the long pour-off of the initial left branch.  After that, we took the trail back to our cars.

Total time: approximately 4:30 hours

Send your trip reports, comments, updates, and suggestions about this site to
Jan Studebaker

Website Design by Jemez Web Factory