Flood Damage Update

Photo of maintenance employee in road washout.
Photo of maintenance employee in a washout along the Walnut Canyon Desert Drive.


As of March 2024 The historic flood that occurred in August 2022 caused major damage to the unpaved Walnut Canyon Desert Drive and trails throughout the park. The park has been working through various processes, including conducting federally required resource surveys and requesting funding, to coordinate the repairs. The following are updates to the currently closed areas: Walnut Canyon Desert Drive (aka Scenic Loop Road) Federally required surveys were conducted during the winter of 2022. The park continues to follow processes for resource protection as a result of the surveys. Strategies are being developed for proper engineering options to harden the stream crossings and ridgeline washed-out sections. The Surveys were conducted in the winter of 2023 and a report of finding is forthcoming. Estimated between March 1 and April 30 for the report. There is a very large project in FLREA fund to design a sustainable road base that can possibly better withstand future flooding events and erosion. This project design is currently on the plan for Fiscal Year 2027 for construction however, there will be an added component to this project that is specifically the design aspect that will be planned for Fiscal Year 2025 depending on the report of findings and complexity of compliance. Guadalupe Ridge Trail (GRT) Federally required surveys were also conducted during the winter of 2022. The park continues to follow processes for resource protection as a result of the surveys. Engineering drawings for the GRT rehabilitation work is proposed to occur in the winter of 2023. This trail will be reopened after the work to the Walnut Canyon Desert Drive is complete. There also are washed-out sections along the GRT that are proposed to be repaired in the fall/winter of 2024. This trail is not easily recognizable from the washout and all previous drawings and plans will have to be redone and re-evaluated based on the report of findings. It is estimated that the new design component may be able to be fitted into the FLREA plan for Fiscal Year 2026 and after designs are evaluated for the Scenic Loop Road. This trail cannot be designed until we know the routes to be used. See below regarding the opening of the west section of the GRT. Juniper Ridge Trail This trail will reopen after the repairs have been completed to the Walnut Canyon Desert Drive. As this trailhead access uses the Scenic Loop Road to get to it, it will stay closed until we have established plans and repairs to that section of Scenic Loop Road. We are working with the New Mexico Conservation Corps to repair the following trails: Rattlesnake Canyon Trail and Juniper Ridge Trail Proposed to be completed in the fall/winter of 2024. Currently also on hold until access to Scenic Loop Road is determined and road work is completed.

Repairs have been completed and the following trails are now open:

  • Old Guano
  • Slaughter Canyon
  • Yucca Canyon
  • Ussery
  • Double Canyon
  • Guadalupe Ridge from the west park boundary to the Slaughter Canyon Trail

Note that all repair and completion dates are estimates. Timeframes could be extended.

Last updated: March 15, 2024

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