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Otero Canyon Day Hike
Mazatzal Mountains
January 28, 2012
by Bill Zimmermann
  GPS Map
  GPS Map
Trailblazers all together to start the hike.
Rough riders on the ascent.

Eight hikers left Red Mountain Park to met three more at the Mesquite Wash Trailhead. We finished introductions and by 8:30 we were on our way.

It was sunny and Sycamore Creek was flowing. We had three or four rock-hopping crossing before we got to “R4”. We passed an old road (“R5”) that leads to Dos S Ranch. Another day, another hike.

At “RX” we left FR 160 and entered the canyon. We did some easy boulder rock climbing in one of the prettier parts of the canyon.

Our first water crossing.
Herm does the Otero Canyon Rock-Hop.
Come on, it isn’t that steep.
We’ll gain some elevation on these rocks.
What might be in those caves?

We came across a dirt bike trail shortly after the rocks. At “TX” Laurie Karen and Lil continued on the trail as the rest of the group started bushwhacking up the canyon. Almost. The group awarded trip leader Bill two demerits as he accidentally forced the group up and down a rocky knoll before entering the canyon. We bushwhacked and rock climbed through another pretty section on our way to “TX2”.

Nearing the top of Otero Canyon.

At “TX2” we reconnected with the dirt bike trail. We followed the trail alternating between the trails loose sand and hard pack and bushes of the wash. We followed the trail to “LT” At that point the trail headed to the right and we re-established our heading up the wash.

The dirt bike trail gets steep.
Picturesque boulders of Otero Canyon.
A brief respite on the rocks.

We must have veered of the main wash as we got rocked out at “L” ... where we broke for lunch. After lunch Bill, Rudy, Eileen, Quy, Herm, and Diane continued on the quest to make it to the spring. The boulders in the wash look big so we chose to do the ridgeline. We stopped at the top (E) for pictures and great views of the open canyon below. It was 12:45 (our agreed turnaround time) so we headed back.

Four Peaks cheer us on the downgrade.
Rudy Rudy
Rudy’s high-fashion attire.

We met up with Jim and Mike at “TX2” and hiked the steep and rutted dirt bike route back bypassing both rocky sections of the canyon. We were back at the cars by 4:00 PM. Thanks to Rudy (a.k.a. Bartholomew) for modeling his latest in hat attire and soothing harmonica music. Also, thanks to Mike for driving.

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updated July 22, 2018