Cruise Cruces- Hiking Patzcuarro’s Revenge

That’s right, we hiked. I wanted to show those attending Cruise Cruces what makes the Chile Canyons famous among rock crawling enthusiasts—an “extreme” rated trail. While some would consider our “hard” rated trails such as Broad Canyon and the steepest sections of the Dona Ana Mountains “extreme”, they fall terribly short. The Las Cruces Four Wheel Drive Club is a bit conservative when handing out trail ratings. Our “moderate” trails have been known to disembowel well built rigs and whiten the knuckles of the most seasoned of four wheelers. Needless to say, “extreme” means “extreme” in the Chile Canyons—only the most outrageous rock buggies and capable drivers need apply. After parking our rigs at the trailhead, we hiked into Lower Big Jim Canyon for lunch and a view of the trail. Patzcuarro’s Revenge was the site of the 1998 BFG Rock Crawling Championships, and about the last trail I’d drive with my 4Runner. The waterfalls in this canyon range in height from about 5 to 15 feet. While some of the big boys manage to get up this nasty trail without assistance, most drivers require a bit more. When a driver can’t get their vehicle up a difficult obstacle, winching becomes necessary. The winch cable must be fastened safely to an ultra stable object. The Las Cruces 4WD Club has installed secure winch points on the biggest obstacles of the Chile Canyons. This winch point pictured is above Nemesis II, a 15 foot tall waterfall on the trail.