In the late 1800s “Frenchy” Rochas built a small rock and adobe cabin for himself at the mouth of Dog Canyon. By piling rocks, he also created a flume from the spring fed stream in the canyon to collect water. He stacked rock terraces for his garden, orchard, and walls to contain his cattle. His efforts provided a decent living at the base of the Sacramento Mountains. Being about 30 miles south of the settlement of La Luz NM, it provided the solitude he long sought.
I hiked the riparian trail that goes a short way into the canyon and then descends to the stream. The trail then follows the stream down hill to the remains of Frenchy’s cabin. It was a fairly short and easy route so it didn’t take very long.
There are also short trails that meander across the hill between my campsite and the restrooms. An array of desert plants like cacti, ocotillo, mesquite and creosote populate the area. And, the steep trail up into Dog Canyon beckons me.
From my campsite at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, there’s a great view of the mountain cliffs and of the Tularosa Basin valley below. This place was my first camp after buying my rig Tardis last year. Back then, I could only stay for one night. So, I had wanted to return to see more.
The park is at 4,638 ft elevation, and the Dog Canyon trail rises considerably more. So, I awaited the arrival of warmer temperatures. This week the forecast calls for highs of mid-60s to mid-70s, and lows of upper-30s to mid-40s, so it should be ideal weather.
Camp: Oliver Lee Memorial SP-Loop A
Scene: Mountains, cliffs, canyon, desert