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Ortega Canyon North to Ortega Peak

This hike will be a blend of Canyon hiking and off trail trekking over to Ortega Peak. While not as dramatic of a canyon as some of the other area drainages, it does offer a few dramatic dry falls. This will be Class I Canyoneering... with a gain over over 3,000' elevation. There will be scrambling, minor climbing and a few steep grades to ascend. Overall, this will amount to a very strenuous hike, though not as difficult as Marble Canyon. Off trail is spiny, sharp ans sticky... plan accordingly!


ELEVATION GAIN is ~3000 ft gained. May be more because of ups/downs.

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

DURATION: All day.


SKILL LEVEL is NOT beginner friendly. No whiners!

TERRAIN is off-trail, w/ scrambling, minor climbing, and steep grades to ascend.

WEATHER should be clear.

MEET for carpool at:

  • Las Cruces: 7:30 am, K-Mart parking lot on North Main/US 70 and Del Rey, near Shell. See map (OpenStreetMap or Google Maps).
  • Alamogordo: 8:30 am, outside the 10th Street far east fire station in Alamogordo (near the forest trailhead for T119). See map (OpenStreetMap or Google Maps).
  • El Paso: 6:45 am, Walmart at Transmountain/US 54 at the west-most parking lot towards US 54. See map (Google Maps). Note: your organizer is not meeting here, please self-organize!

MORE information:

  • Resource one
  • Resource two

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  • Clayton H.

    Great hike, lots of boldering and we did see two bear cubs in the canyon and a great view from the peak.

    January 30, 2012

  • michal

    Everyone felt it was a better canyon than I had thought, and added in with Ortega Peak it was a nicely rounded out hike. The Bear encounter seemed to make it a great day for everyone... Amy overdid it a bit... too much too soon, but she did great!

    January 30, 2012

  • michal

    Class I implies some scrambling, with the use of hands, but no real need for ropes... My phone if anyone needs to contact me:[masked]-8898. I will not be back on the computer after 2pm on Saturday!

    January 28, 2012

  • michal

    This is Ortega Canyon North, the drainage just over from the Ortega Canyon south that the Meetup groups did last week... we do encounter a falls at the top, then climb up the side and get immediately back into the drainage to hike to the ridge below Ortega PeaK... then up that ridge to the Peak! It is not the same canyon as before...

    January 24, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    how would you describe class 1?

    January 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    i would like to carpool with someone starting from walmart/transmt. can i join someone?

    January 23, 2012

  • Yubao

    Yep. The 27 mile thing is gone already.

    Samat, I believe that we are just going to climb up on the side, unless Michal has something not shown to me yet.

    January 23, 2012

  • Samat

    How will we get around/up the second waterfall (the one on the second level/plateau)?

    January 23, 2012

  • michal

    Yubao... we'll probably hike a nice, slower pace! the 28 mile Saturday hike is the weekend before, isn't it?

    January 20, 2012

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