Little Deadman Canyon

ACA Canyon Rating –3A III

...however 95% of this slot can be visited via rope-less, all-fours climbing and scrambling...


Yours truly below here... ah... very thrilled with my surroundings 


These first three shots are Nate Bartnick photos of the slot canyon immediately below the upper, very high rappels


The photo below is of Nate shooting a photo my way in the upper portions of half-mile-long, Little Deadman Slot Canyon


...a lonely stretch within it’s middle portions...

...and an enlarged view of this same place...


...standing in the shadows...


down near the lower opening... also shown in the photo below... you can recognize the same rocks in both photos...


This is the downstream opening of Little Deadman Slot

...and below is a photo of how these canyons look from a distance...




beta facts:

name- Little Deadman Canyon

GPS coordinates- ±36°24.568’N 106°46.072’W

Length of slot- about a half mile

flow- intermittent

season to visit- drier months of the year, like April, May, June, September, October… NEVER ENTER ANY SLOT CANYON WHEN RAIN IS IN THE FORCAST…!!!

accommodations- NONE –Chama Canyon Wilderness Area

ownership- Santa Fe National Forest

access- is from Deadman Lookout Tower above or downstream from Cupadero Road- see the map and description below

nearest town- Gallina is about 25 miles southeast of here

fun fact- I need more day-light hours and more stamina


essay bro

All three of these Deadman Canyons (Little Deadman, Middle Deadman and Deadman Canyons) are reserved for the hardy... and not for the faint of heart.  They are VERY REMOTE and have many dry falls as down-climbs and rappels.  They can be partially visited without ropes but the climbing out and around are steep, strenuous and dangerous.  There are NO TRAILS in or around these canyons.


Little Deadman Canyon is only a half mile long, but it is a beauty... as seen by the photos above.  This slot closes in and opens up a few times throughout it’s distance.  The lower two-thirds is a difficult, non-technical  climb/scramble.  We did not use ropes.  The upper canyon splits into two forks, both having very high mandatory rappels of 200 to 300’... ! ! ! !



 The Deadman Lookout Road (Forest Road 507) is accessed from Hwy 112 about 4 miles north of LLaves, NM to Forest Road 7 one mile to Forest Road 6 followed by about 4 miles to Forest Road 507.  This is where you have to be careful.  Do not take Forest Road 507.  Instead drive a few feet past it to a small 2-track “un-named” road and turn right on this road.  In less than a mile this small 2-track road will reach a flat place, that is actually a saddle, 500’ directly below the Deadman Lookout Tower.  A gentle, quarter mile hike to the south-southwest will quickly drop into the beginnings of the upper Deadman Slot (@ 36°25.405’N 106°46.187’W) which can be done as an “all-fours” scramble without rope.  This canyon is marked on the map below with the number 500 written in red.  It is very steep and involves a hands and feet -1000 foot scramble down to the canyon below.  From here you will need strength, stamina, perseverance and excellent topo reading skills to reach any and/or all of these three wonderful Deadman Slot Canyons here.


Another way to reach these canyons is from the bottom... walking along the Rio Gallina.  Chupadero Road access is three and a half miles up the Rio Gallina from it’s Deadman Canyon Confluence.  A map showing Chupadero Road can be found by clicking this link:  - Gallina Canyon is a beautiful creek-side stroll that will please and amaze you.  


Click this link to access a detailed topo map that shows this entire area:


Please be careful of the private here.  It is marked as shaded gray on our map below.  It is easy to walk around their fences.



A very pleasant way to maximize enjoying Gallina Canyon is to plan a vacation at:

Gallina Canyon Ranch

…is Amazing…!!!

They have campgrounds and wonderful cabins “just for you” right in the middle of a dozen slot canyons...! ! !

 Click this link:

Forest Road 474, Abiquiu, NM 87510

(505) 490-3333

Gallina Canyon Ranch a great way to visit and enjoy these amazing “slot canyons” of the Chama Canyon Wilderness.  Several amazing slot canyons are easy to visit with normal hiking from here.  In fact, vacationing at Gallina Canyon Ranch will put you in the heart of New Mexico’s best slot canyon country...!!!  Gallina Canyon Ranch is truly amazing and is a great access to this western portion of the Chama Canyon Wilderness.   


Enhanced USGS topo map by Doug Scott

The thin Red Lines depict sections of “slot canyons” and/or “box canyons”    the thicker Red Lines show the boundries of Chama River Canyon Wilderness Area

_________one mile_________


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