San Lorenzo Canyon

Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, about 50 miles south of Albuquerque, encompasses a large area but very little of the land there is open to the public. However, at the southern end of the refuge there is an area of BLM land called San Lorenzo Canyon that is an excellent spot for hiking and photography. There are no marked trails and without our friend, Sue, and her trusty GPS device we probably never would have hiked there.

After weeks of exceptionally warm weather, today started off quite chilly with overcast skies. But we bundled up and weren’t on the trail too long before we found ourselves warming up enough to take off some extra layers. We were also glad that Sue was driving her 4-wheel drive vehicle because of the last stretch over rough, dirt road that leads through the lower part of the canyon. Most of the interesting rock formations and hoodoos were along the road leading into the canyon. When the canyon road ends there is a rock face that you climb up and over to access the upper part of the canyon to start the hike.

Rock formations along road into the canyon.
Rock formations along road into the canyon.
Along the road.
Along the road.
End of dirt road into San Lorenzo Canyon.  Hike starts just around the corner.
End of dirt road into San Lorenzo Canyon. Hike starts just around the corner.
A tiny stream is sometimes visible in the canyon; other times it goes underground.
A tiny stream is sometimes visible in the canyon; other times it goes underground.
Stream makes a waterfall.  Size is deceptive.  It was less than a foot high.
Stream makes a waterfall. Size is deceptive. It was less than a foot high.

After walking about a half mile in the canyon we hiked out of the canyon onto a ridge that we followed for another mile or so. Stopping for some views along the way, we then went up and down through an arroyo where we found a sheltered spot for lunch. We came back through a side canyon that rejoined San Lorenzo Canyon close to our starting point.

View after climbing out of canyon.
View after climbing out of canyon.
Sue and Lee stopping to look at some birds.
Sue and Lee stopping to look at some birds.
A viewpoint looking north at Ladrone Peak.
A viewpoint looking north at Ladrone Peak.

Before leaving the area, on the road back out, we stopped at an interesting slot canyon and walked a short distance to explore that canyon. Another enjoyable day hiking in the New Mexico desert.

Heading into the slot canyon.
Heading into the slot canyon.
We saw several of these interesting caterpillars along the walls of the slot canyon.
We saw several of these interesting caterpillars along the walls of the slot canyon.

Author: bjregan

Enjoying retirement activities. Main goals for retirement are to stay spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.

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