Forest Road 313, Coyote Ranger District, NM
While visiting the Coyote Ranger Station (NM 67) I saw a nice poster of an Indian cliff House. I went to find it, and drove right by the turn, the Ranger Station was closed so I was unable to ask for directions.
I went back a week later and received directions at the station, and being a rainy weekend I was able to 4by close to it.
Here are some pictures.
If you go, take 67 to 112, turn left onto Forest Road 313. There is a oil/gas maintenance kind of depot on the right as you turn from 112. When you go by it, veer to the right after a cattle guard, you'll basically pass an unused airstrip on the right and two large tanks up on a small hill on the left. Keep going and as the road veers to the left, you'll pass a green natural gas shed on your right. Start to look for a place to camp off the road on the right, there is very poor camping at this site. I saw only one place on the right there that provided decent shade and a degree of levelness.
If you go to the end of the spur, you arrive at a loop with an active gas well, not a good place for camping, flammable and the well make noises like the mouth to Hades, or a flatulent dragon. But it is a place to turn around when you leave.
So far is doesn't sound so great. But the hiking and the cliff house are excellent backdrops for a great weekend!
It's an excellent place for Roaming Rovers, hiking as hard core as you want to go and very few if any other visitors. If you enjoy photography, this is area provides some really nice opportunities! The trail to the cliff house is pretty easy until you reach the base of the canyon, then there is a series of switchback climbing until you reach the main surviving structure.
In rain, a 4x4 is helpful. My second day I would have been stuck in a 2x4.
Some note on taking dogs into National Forest-
1. Make sure they have water, mine carry water into the forest, and they drink it all!
2. Insure they will will break off a chase of wild animals or cattle when commanded. Ruidoso (Philadelphia Canyon area) is full of lost camper dogs. They won't live long without food, and mountain lions.
3. A dog first aid kit is a good idea, include a few boots and a sock for any serious foot injuries.
4. walk lightly on some trails or learn to fly, haha!
I hope to see you there, there is a lot to explore!
I'm a true bum, working less and living longer.