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Slot Canyon in the Robledo Mountains

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Robledo Mountains is part of the Organ Mountains - Desert Peaks National Monument. Slot Canyon is a nondescript but amazingly beautiful canyon. It is a phenomenon unique to the desert terrain. It is thousands of years of flash storm water washed out a deep canyon in the loose sand and gravel in the eastern slope of the Robledo Mountains. And naturally the entrance of the Canyon is right on the west bank of Rio Grande.

The photo posted here was taken by Les McKee on one of Occotillo Hikers outings there. As you can clearly see, the sides of the canyon are like decaying adobe structure. Only that it's nature-made, instead of human efforts. And no doubt, it endures way better than a human endeavor.

If you stretch your imagination, having in your mind that Genie plays in a sandpit. First, he stomps in the sandpit, and makes the surface uneven, so there's your desert mountains. Then he wiggled his finger through the sandpit, and there your Rio Grande comes into being. And he looks at the sandpit, happy and satisfied, then he pees on one of the sand mounds on the west bank of Rio Grande, and there you have your Slot Canyon.

It is any easy in and out hike. With the total distance of 'bout 4 miles. Expect it to be done around noon, if not earlier. This hike is kid friendly, dog friendly, and also, beginner friendly.

It is about 20 minutes drive from KMart parking lot.

Since it's summer, there might be a bit water trickling in the river, nothing deep nor swift. You may either bring water shoes along, or simply have fun, wade through that wet patch of sands barefooted.

Come one, come all. Let's have an easy, fun morning hike!

DISTANCE is ~4 mi round-trip.

ELEVATION GAIN is about 500'.

FEES: None. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!

DURATION: Finish by lunch.

PET FRIENDLY? Yes, if you don't climb. Bring a muzzle (you shouldn't need be told to bring a leash).


TERRAIN includes sand, rock, and an ankle-high crossing of the Rio Grande. If you have water shoes, bring them.

WEATHER should be clear.

AFTERWARDS lunch anyone? High Desert Brewery? We will vote on a joint on the hike.

MEET for carpool (leaving sharp at the times posted) at:

Las Cruces: 8:00 parking lot on North Main/US 70 and Del Rey, near Shell. See map (OpenStreetMap ( or Google Maps (,-106.76538&aq=&sll=32.2563,-106.7&sspn=0.015497,0.018582&ie=UTF8&ll=32.351135,-106.768591&spn=0.00774,0.01502&t=h&z=17)).
3860 North Main Street · Las Cruces, NM
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