Cañada de Presa

ACA Canyon Rating – 3A III

 Experienced Canyoneers Only

requires a full range of technical rock climbing equipment as well as multiple ropes…!!!



We finally got in here Dec 2, 2014 and had to deal with up to a half a foot of snow… but isn’t this a fine slot canyon… we shall return.




Above is the first dry falls to be encountered while descending Presa Slot Canyon.  it is about 35’ high and can be scrambled around without ropes on your left-hand side of this photo



beta facts:

name- Cañada de Presa

depth of slot portion-up to 300 feet

length of slot canyon-

elevation- 7700’  at the top down to 7300’ at the bottom

GPS coordinates- ±36°19.167’N 106°42.756’W at the top

flow- intermittent

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

accommodations- NONE –Chama Canyon Wilderness Area

ownership- Santa Fe National Forest

access- is from above off Forest Road #11… see the map below

nearest town- Gallina is about 10 miles south of here

fun fact- …in English, Canada de Presa means: Large Canyon of Capture or Quarry or Dam …I have no idea which applies, all three of these words could fit



essay bro

There are many dry falls within Presa Slot Canyon between the 35’ and 25’ falls shown on the map below.  Some are up to 20’ high and some need the assistance of a rope.  For these smaller falls we often use a rope ladder so we can easily go both up and down… to return the same way we came.  The north fork of this slot canyon ends with 200 feet or more of smooth sheer walls.  This north fork is easy to hike without ropes above the spring… which FYI - this spring is a strong flowing, trust-worthy spring.  You can count on it even during dry years.  


Click this link to open a large detailed topo map of the entire slot canyon area near and within the western Chama Canyon Wilderness:

Enhanced USGS topo map

The Red Lines depict sections of “slot canyons”


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