A Hike in Soledad Canyon Recreation Area

Our next couple days off from building we decided to explore the Soledad Canyon area ten miles southeast of Las Cruces. Located in the western foothills of the Organ Mountains, this area where Soledad and Bar Canyons join is stunning, a sea of pale green grasses and yucca nestled between the rising peaks.

We intended to hike the Bar Canyon Trail, which cuts across the sloping mouth of Soledad Canyon before going into Bar Canyon but there area lot of well-worn footpaths in the area which left some uncertainty to whether or not we were on that trail most of the time. This was totally fine with us, but I hesitate to say “this was the trail,” except when Abby found us a very wide gravel section that was clearly The Trail. Thank you, Abby. I can definitely say we were not on the trail when we climbed up a ridge separating Soledad and Bar Canyons, but this little side trip provided the best views of the day. Once we descended and Abby found us the trail, we continued into Bar Canyon to look at the mostly-frozen waterfall.

On our way out of the narrows we turned onto a northerly side trail and came across a rock house, which was neat, but this part of our hike was incredibly beautiful in and of itself, traversing grassy plains punctuated by tall yucca plants.

Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Yucca, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Yucca, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

First view looking back towards the mouth of the canyons, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

First view looking back towards the mouth of the canyons, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Tom and Abby hiking ahead of me, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Tom and Abby hiking ahead of me, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Rocky trail, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Rocky trail, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

View south while climbing a hill, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

View south while climbing a hill, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Abby, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Abby, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Looking north into Bar Canyon from a ridge, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Looking north into Bar Canyon from a ridge, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Me looking into Bar Canyon, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Me looking into Bar Canyon, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Looking south into Soledad Canyon from the ridge, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Looking south into Soledad Canyon from the ridge, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Tom and I on the ridge between Soledad and Bar Canyons, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Tom and I on the ridge between Soledad and Bar Canyons, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Abby finds us the trail. Again. Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Abby finds us the trail. Again. Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Bar Canyon, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Bar Canyon, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Bar Canyon narrowing, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Bar Canyon narrowing, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Iced-over waterfall, Bar Canyon, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Iced-over waterfall, Bar Canyon, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Tom climbing up the side of the waterfall, Bar Canyon, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Tom climbing up the side of the waterfall, Bar Canyon, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Shot of the top from as far as we climbed, Bar Canyon, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Shot of the top from as far as we climbed, Bar Canyon, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Exiting Bar Canyon, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Exiting Bar Canyon, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Side trail to see an old rock house, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Side trail to see an old rock house, Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico

Soledad Canyon Recreation Area, New Mexico