Monday, October 18, 2010

Exploring the Anthony Gap, NM

Along NM 404, near I-25 in Southern NM, is an area refered to as the Anthony Gap. The Gap is a low pass over the Northern portion of the Fanklin Mountains, connecting El Paso TX. with Anthony NM. The area surrounding it belongs to the BLM and therfore open to the public. It contains several square miles of desert, mountain foothills and deep washes, just the kinda area I love to explore. Since I haven't been out in the Jeep since we made it to El Paso, Sunday seemed like as good a time as any to check out the area.
The area can be entered off of NM 404, just East of I-25, on to Pipeline rd.

Pipeline Rd is pretty strait and runs along the western section of the area. From Pipeline, there are several roads heading toward the mountains, pick any of them and they'll take you well into the back country.

Some roads will lead you right to the foot of the mountains, however no roads actually go up into them. You will come to the state park boundry where the roads die off into hiking trails.

The trails can be as mild or as wild as you want, I prefer sticking to the milder side, but with enough interesting terrain so it's not just a walk in the park.

You can find several washouts to drive in, some you can follow for quite a while and others not so far, unless of course you a rig built for it.

Most of the roads can be tackled by most high clearance vehicles.

However, you must cross several areas of wash outs, which require 4 wheel drive to get through. They can be filled with deep ruts and loose rock/sand.

Miles of area to explore.

After several hours in the desert, it was time to start heading back, you can just see the town of Anthony in the background.

As I was headed back home, I found this fellow hanging out atop a power pole, and he was nice enough to let me get a picture before flying off.
It felt good to get out, I was pretty surprised, I didn't see another person in the area the whole time I was out and this was on a Sunday. The solitude was great and sure beat running into a lot of folks when your trying to get away from it all.
Again, thanks for playing along, I can highly recommend this area if you ever passing through El Paso and need a break from it all. Sure am going to miss all the open land as we head East, but it's good to know it'll still be here when we come back.

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