After exploring in Arkansas we drove east for quite a while and eventually we found a free camping spot on some BLM land in New Mexico called Diablo Canyon. It was a seven mile drive down a very bumpy but well maintained road. It felt like we were driving on cattle guard the entire time.
We got there after dark but easily found a spot to camp. When we woke up the next morning we were greeted with an amazing view! The canyon was gorgeous, the camping was free, and there was only on other couple at the ‘campground’.
We went out for a morning stroll to check out the area. There was a trail that went through the canyon as a wash and continued once the canyon got wider.
We didn’t decipher the map well and realized once we got back to the trail that we made it about a half mile or so from the Rio Grande and didn’t even know it! We found some cool plants, flowers and bugs while we were walking.
We went back into the canyon after lunch to look for rock climbing bolts. We found a bunch but we only have the gear from top roping and there didn’t seem to be the set up for that there.
While we were up the wall of the canyon, a military helicopter flew right past us in between the walls of the canyon and looked as though they were practicing some maneuverability rescue drills or something. It was unique and interesting to watch and be so close to that while up a wall inside of a canyon. We scrambled back down and put our rock climbing stuff away and then decided to run to the Rio Grande and back. It was a little over a four mile run.
We didn’t run with our camera so no pictures, but the river was beautiful, rushing, wide and refreshing to walk in. The fall colors on both sides of the river were beautiful and this huge river in the desert felt magical.
This area is about 16 miles from Santa Fe. Which turned out to be convenient because we were able to set up some of our boards and shirts at the square downtown.
Thanks for reading about our adventures in Diablo Canyon! To see some of the longboarding that New Mexico has to offer, check out our article Longboarding the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument. Please check out our hand crafted longboards and gear at our shop!