Tapia Canyon November 2019 - Tom Liles

We participated in a New Mexico Mountain Club hike to Tapia Canyon recently.  This canyon is a LONG way into the Rio Puerco basin Northwest of Albuquerque.  Over 22 miles of mostly good, dusty dirt roads with a couple of steep, deep canyon/wash crossings.  The last 1.2 miles is on a not so good double track with sections of deep off camber ruts.  Definitely high clearance territory!

Our first stop was for a short hike to visit the mesa top Guadalupe ruins, the eastern most Chacoan outlier settlement.  They definitely had grand views of the surrounding desert!

Just around the corner is Tapia Canyon, full of varied features.  The best are a lot of petroglyph panels, most up high on the wash walls, some requiring a bit of scrambling to reach.  It is easy to see that the wash is a lot lower now after hundreds of years of erosion.  The canyon also has two arches, a great slot canyon and a couple of rim top ruins.  It was a great for a great hike!

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