Dog Canyon Trail (T106)
ElevationAscent: 3,338' 1,018 m
Descent: -227' -69 m
High: 7,535' 2,297 m
Low: 4,423' 1,348 m
GradeAvg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 37% (20°)
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“This is archetypal foothills hiking in the Sacramento Mountains with steep, rocky climbs and tremendous views.”— Eric Borer
The upper portion of the trail begins at the Line Cabin and climbs up out of the canyon on the north side and skirts a cliff face, with amazing views of the basin, for a couple hundred feet. Steeper grades are found on this section and slowing down is usually a must. As the trail climbs, the vegetation and trail changes a bit. Although still rocky and steep, there are areas of high desert dirt with piñon and juniper lining the trail as you close in on FR-90B and the upper trailhead. The last 0.75 miles to 90B flattens out some and it is not uncommon to spot elk in this section.
Hikers are scarce in Dog Canyon, especially during the week. Weekend visitors are common and are usually terrific on the trail. Climbing 3,300 ft in 5.5 miles demands some steep grades of 25%-45% in some spots.
Hiking this trail is challenging, but the views of the Tularosa Basin, White Sands National Monument, and Organ Mountains are unparalleled and are visible for nearly the entirety of this trail. Enjoy the climbs and the solitude!
For catching a glimpse of wildlife, this trail is terrific as you may spot lizards, many birds, hawks and vultures, rattlesnakes, mule deer, and elk. Hikers have spotted Barbary sheep near the bench as well as mountain lions.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know
Land Manager: USFS - Lincoln National Forest Office