White Ridge Bike Trails Area

...has 3 narrow canyon areas-

East Gypsum Slot Canyon ACA Canyon Rating – 3A III

West Gypsum Gorges ACA Canyon Rating – 3A III

 Travertine Maze ACA Canyon Rating – 3A III

 NEVER ENTER ANY SLOT CANYON WHEN HEAVY RAIN IS IN THE FORECAST…!!!

 

Gypsum Slot Canyon

One of the most narrow slot canyons in New Mexico...!!!

This slot is solid alabaster... gleaming, shining white...!!!

 

...in several places your ribcage barely squeezes thru East Gypsum Slot Canyon.  see the map at the bottom of this page

 

...small wonder that Gypsum is being mined in this area... alabaster (which is pure gypsum) is everywhere...!!!

 

beta facts:

name- Gypsum Slot Canyon

depth of slot portion- 30 to 40 feet

length of slot canyon- one/tenth of a mile or such...

elevation- 5700’

GPS coordinates- ±35°31.652’N 106°49.550’W

flow- intermittent

season to visit- March, April, October and November are best… NEVER ENTER ANY SLOT CANYON WHEN HEAVY RAIN IS IN THE FORECAST…!!!

accommodations- NONE

ownership- mostly BLM

access- is from Cabezon Road… see the map below

nearest town- San Ysidro is about 7 miles east of here

fun fact- there are more good things here than most people realize

 

West Gypsum Gorges

There are 2 narrow gorges or slot canyons –an upper and a lower gorge.  See the map at the bottom of this page

This slot is solid alabaster... gleaming, shining white...!!!

 

Spring fed Gypsum Creek flows perennial thru this sweet slot canyon.

Both upper and lower West Gypsum Gorges are slot canyons... marked as Upper and Lower Gypsum Gorge on the map at the bottom of this page

 

beta facts:

name- Upper and Lower Gypsum Gorge

depth of slot portion- 30 to 40 feet

length of slot canyon- one/tenth of a mile each

elevation- 5700’ and 5800’

GPS coordinates for the lower gorge- ±35°31.895’N 106°50.714’W

GPS coordinates for the upper gorge- ±35°31.449’N 106°50.197’W

flow- some perennial spring flow

season to visit- March, April, October and November are best… NEVER ENTER ANY SLOT CANYON WHEN HEAVY RAIN IS IN THE FORECAST…!!!

accommodations- NONE

ownership- mostly BLM

access- is from Cabezon Road… see the map below

nearest town- San Ysidro is about 7 miles east of here

fun fact- these slot canyons make a great loop hike

 

 

Travertine Maze

Also: Little Travertine Maze and other special features in this area

Travertine Maze is a very special place –having very narrow, meandering and inter-locking slot ravines within solid travertine stone

   

Travertine Maze has the feel of slot canyons, however these narrow slots are fractured and separated bedrock instead of eroded canyons

 

Some of the passages pinch together tight and require friction climbing twenty feet and more above the dirt floor

 

This side hallway below leads into a cave with two separate forks, both requiring headlamps or flashlights.  One dead-ends at a larger room deep inside the earth

...another nearby cave southwest a short distance from Travertine Maze begins in a dry sink-hole ±35°31.275’N 106°50.747’W.  Light glows from the openings at each end.

 

 

beta facts:

name- Travertine Maze

depth of slot portion- 30 to 40 feet

elevation- 5950’

GPS coordinates- ±35°31.317’N 106°50.765’W

flow- some perennial spring flow

season to visit- March, April, October and November are best… NEVER ENTER ANY SLOT CANYON WHEN HEAVY RAIN IS IN THE FORECAST…!!!

accommodations- NONE

ownership- mostly BLM

access- is from Cabezon Road… see the map below

nearest town- San Ysidro is about 7 miles east of here

fun fact- these slot canyons make a great loop hike

  

Little Travertine Maze

GPS coordinates- ±35°31.112’N 106°50.765’W

 

 

 

Dome Sink Hole

This sink hole is amazing... 30’ across and 30’ down to the stinking alkali spring waters below... and who knows how deep these waters are...!!!

GPS coordinates- ±35°31.546’N 106°50.799’W

 

...a geologist friend of mine tells me these springs on top of this mountain are pushed upwards by deep geothermal activity.  The springs have cooled since the heated magma that caused this upheaval has retracted deeper into the earth. He explained that the white alkali build-up is geo-thermal caused even though the springs have cooled as water must be heated before it can ever absorb these impurities.  Rain water is never alkali.

 

  Other nearby attractions

A small alkali spring filled sink hole is at: GPS- ±35°31.744’N 106°50.809’W

 

There is a set of three short and narrow travertine ravines at GPS: ±35°31.752’N 106°50.959’W

On the map below they are marked in red with an x and the word “slots”

 

 

Enhanced USGS topo map

The Red Lines depict sections of “slot canyons”

Right-click-save-as on this map below to keep and use it…!!!!

 

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Send questions and comments to dscott@themarblesculptor.com