Stable Canyon Hike – 10/16/2016

Seeking out trails that we haven’t yet visited, this weekend we returned to the Jemez Mountains, to Stable Canyon (thanks to ASCHG for description and track info). Although it is mid-October and the forest is showing it’s autumn colors, the daytime temperatures are still nearly hot, so the description of “Cool shady hike along the Guadalupe River and up a green canyon …” made this hike appealing to us.

The Hike

Stable Canyon Hike

FR 376-Stable Canyon Hike.Jay.2016-10-16

We first tried to cross the Guadalupe River near the entrance to the canyon, to spend more time in Stable Canyon and thus eliminating the .4 mile approach along the River.  We pushed our way through some mean brambles, scouting 600 yards of the River, but we could not find a suitable crossing. Oh well, we capitulated and drove on up the road, crossed the bridge at Porter, and headed back south on a good two-track to the mouth of the Canyon.

The trail follows the bottom of Stable Canyon, a steady tho’ not steep ascent among Ponderosa pine, gambel oak, some aspen, and in some places more of those nasty brambles.  The sides of the canyon are quite steep, but the trail follows an ancient two-track mostly without rocks. The trail is well traveled for one so remote, (it appeared most frequently by cattle), so the walking is very easy although in many places one must push through or under spare undergrowth.  About midway up the Canyon we found a small stream of water in the creek bed, adding to this most pleasant hike.

Jay here: The river may have defeated us this time, but next time it won’t be so lucky. I’m thinking that if we carry 2 super duty Hefty trash bags with us, we can gather up one on each leg and get across the Guadalupe without no stinkin’ boots. It was a relatively easy hike in terms of elevation gain but offered many moments for contemplation. Listening to the wind rustle the trees when we stopped for coffee only amplified how quiet and serene the trail can be and how restorative a walk in the woods can be.


Total Distance: 4.15 miles
Elevation: 7,219 start, 7,670 maximum, 7,179 minimum
Gross gain: 451 ft.  Aggregate ascending 1,130 ft, descending: 1,130 ft
Maximum slope: 40% ascending, 40% descending, 9% average

GPS Track Files for Download
If you haven’t explored these hiking tracks with Google Earth, I urge you to try it. With the virtual 3-dimensional presentation, achieved by panning and tilting the view, you can get a much better idea of the hikes and terrain than you can get from the screenshot above. For some ideas, check out  Using Google Earth Track Files.


ASCHG Hike “Stable Canyon Hike


This entry was posted in 2016, Jemez, Years and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply