Cuesta Navajo Canyon Slot

ACA Canyon Rating – 3A II

 Experienced Canyoneers Only

requires a full range of technical rock climbing equipment and rope…!!!



Cuesta Navajo Slot Canyon is short, steep and AWESOME.....!  !  !  - Rorke is on the 150’ rappel.


The 150’ rappel & slot seen from our steep climb-out ridge


...within the Entrada Sandstone slot below the high rappel...



The portion of Cuesta Navajo Slot above the high rappel is Alabaster... the two rims kiss, overhead in one place...




beta facts:

name- Cuesta Navajo Slot Canyon

length of slot canyon- maybe a quarter mile

elevation- 7700’at the top down to about 7400’at the bottom

GPS coordinates- ±36°14.784’N 106°37.558’W –park your wheels and start hiking down

±36°14.708’N 106°37.047’W –the first rappel

±36°14.679’N 106°36.971’W –second rappel

±36°14.613’N 106°36.878’W –climb-out and return up this ridge

flow- intermittent

season to visit- most anytime except winter may have ice &  NEVER ENTER ANY SLOT CANYON WHEN HEAVY RAIN IS IN THE FORECAST…!!!

accommodations- none

ownership- Santa Fe National Forest

access- is from Forest Road 77… see the map below

nearest town- Coyote is about 6 miles south of here

fun fact- This is a beautiful slot canyon…! ! !



Cuesta Navajo Slot Canyon

Cuesta Navajo is the name that appears on Santa Fe National Forest maps for this area.  The Questa Navajo area is the brightest colored painted desert I have ever seen.  ...more deep rich reds and yellows, along with more clean whites than even the painted desert of Arizona.  Please see the photos of the Cuesta Navajo Desert at the very bottom of this page.  The Cuesta Navajo Desert is best accessed via a small dirt road directly across from the gate to the Coyote Ranger Station near Coyote, NM.  This road is un-maked but legal for public entrance.  To access this large colorful desert area you must follow this dirt road northeast for 4 miles or more.  A couple miles in, the road turns east, following under the big high-line wires out to the very edge of a steep drop-off ...overlooking the Cuesta Navajo Desert.  It is AWESOME…!!!  -but you may need a 4WD or at least a high-clearance rig.


Cuesta Navajo Slot Canyon is best reached from up on top of Mesa Alta, on Forest Road 77.  Consult a Santa Fe National Forest Map and use it in conjunction with our map below.  As you can see on our map below, a steep down-hike of less than one mile from your wheels, brings you to this fine slot canyon.  The first rappel is about 30’ and the only other rappel is 150’.  The hike back up to your vehicle, is marked with a faint yellow line..... enjoy......! ! !


The black asterisk on the map below marks a place along the upper, alabaster portion of Cuesta Navajo Slot Canyon, where a 50’ hand-line rope can be anchored to a standing-dead-tree  to allow an alternate entrance and/or exit.  This place is quite steep but it is not sheer.  In fact my son climbed down into the slot at this very place, and back out, without using the rope hand-line... and he was wearing a 50 pound pack...!!!  -but he’s tuffer than I am... ! ! !



Enhanced USGS topo map

Please right-click-save-as on our map below to have a hand held hard copy with you in the field

The Red Line depict sections of “slot canyon”


The Cuesta Navajo Desert is about 3000 acres of extremely colorful hiking






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