Part 1: Orientation and View into West Dog Canyon
This first photo shows where we are going, Dog Canyon once more. It was the day after a Spring rain, with a small chance of showers lingering for one more day, especially in the mountains.
Thee line drawn on this map shows where 'we' went on Saturday, 11 May, 2013. 'We' is you, virtually, right now, and me, in the flesh, back then. The round trip is 18.3 miles. Main elevation gains are 900 feet and 1500 feet, with a loss of 900 feet in between.
Is this a hike I am going to do again? No, next time I come this way I will take the Tejas trail up and continue on it to the Blue Ridge Trail. The Bush-Mountain/Marcus trails, almost until you hit the Blue- Ridge trail, offer no shade: almost no trees.
But this route does offer solitude if that is what you are after. Never saw another human all ten hours! Of course one reason for that may have been the weather, it rained, hailed, and turned quite cold along the way. Normal people avoid that sort of thing when planning a hike.
Just like last time, we take the Bush Mountain Trail where it splits from the Tejas Trail:
And soon we find ourselves winding up and around these dry hills (it is still Spring, Summer is the rainy season here, when things green up --if there is any rainfall).
There are a few trees close by, but only one or two that give shade on the trail.
Just step off the trail a little and you can experience shade here!
That is a stream-bed below, not a trail. The lightly wooded peak in the photo above, and the right one to left of center in this photo, are two views of Lost Peak, where the Tejas Trail takes you, and then turns toward the McKittrick Canyon Trail and beyond (see map above).
But we want to hurry to where we left off last time we walked this trail, which is about where the trees are, just a few, on that ridge ahead.
Great place to have lunch, really, with shade!
Beyond this place to tie up your horse or burro there looks to be a drop off into West Dog Canyon:
And there it is, West Dog Canyon, but we are looking over the top of it with a bit of telefoto to get a good look at two of the peaks of the Cornudas Mountains complex. We will sight them occasionally to track our progress.
Note the snaking continuance of the Bush Mountain trail in the center of the photo until it finally gets into trees. But we won't go that way (pity, really, no shade!), we are going to make a left turn when we meet the Marcus Trail at the bottom of the canyon.
We will drop into West Dog Canyon on the next page.
Part 2: Descent into West Dog Canyon
Part 3: Moving up in West Dog Canyon
Part 4: Meeting the Blue Ridge Trail
Part 5: Meeting the Tejas Trail
Part 6: Meeting the McKittrick Trail
Part 7: Sunset in the Guadalupes
Prior walk on the Bush Mountain Trail
Walk up the McKittrick Canyon Trail from Dog Canyon
McKittrick Canyon in the Fall
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