Dog Canyon Trail


Dog Canyon trail begins at the visitor center in Oliver Lee Memorial State Park. The trail is 5.5 miles long and climbs over 3,100 feet into Lincoln National Forest. It is recommended that 8-10 hours be allowed to make the round trip.

My boss allowed me to shift my work schedule around a bit (thanks boss!) so that I could at least have seven hours of daylight free. Obviously not enough time to make the entire hike, but I did make it further than I thought I would in the time I had. If I wasn’t so conservative with my time, I could have made it the entire way.

Map courtesy of USDA

While the trail overall gains a fair amount of elevation, there are only two sections that are steep. The first part is the first .6 miles at the base. The second is the eyebrow section past the line cabin. The rest of the hike is easy.

After the first gain in elevation, you reach a meadow that is a beautiful and easy hike.

Meadow from above

Here you pass through a cholla “forest”.

Cholla fruit

From my reading, most people only go as far as the line cabin which you reach after crossing a small stream.

Remains of Frenchy’s line cabin

I can see why the cabin was built here. There’s water, nice views and it’s even more isolated up here. It made a nice spot to stop for a short picnic before pressing onward.

Great spot for a picnic

Even though most people evidently turn around at the cabin, I think going at least a bit further is worth the hike.

Stop too soon and you miss this

 While the eyebrow section is a bit steep and the loose path can be interesting to walk on, it isn’t all that bad. And it fairly soon basically levels out again.

Only one more ridgeline to go

It was so tempting to continue on to the next ridge to complete the trail. But I knew I should probably turn around and head back. It’s always nice to see where you’ve been from a different direction though.

I came from down there?

So…. what were the girls up to while I was out hiking?

So… which one is prideful, and is the other one prejudiced?

Yep, they were busy having a Pride and Prejudice marathon. Kathryn just finished her second reading of the book and was really desirous of seeing it on the screen.

Well… at least we all had a fun day.


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