Last Chance Canyon Rockshelter
Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico, 1998
by Chris Adams, Archaeologist
Lincoln NF archaeologists and volunteers finished surveying a small portion of Last Chance Canyon, concluding the rockshelter project. It was decided that the canyon bottoms and mesa tops of Last Chance Canyon, Wilson Canyon, and other canyon tributaries would be resurveyed. A new emphasis would be placed on locating and recording Apache sites. Until this time, no Apache sites had been located in the Last Chance Canyon area, but historical records indicated that Mescalero Apaches had used the canyon extensively in the late 1850s through the late 1890s. Approximately 100 acres were surveyed. PIT volunteers helped locate a U.S. Cavalry–Apache battle site and an Apache breastworks site. While surveying the latter site, PIT volunteers observed a huge meteorite overhead. Additional research and survey work is planned for the Apache sites during the 1998 PIT project season—that is, if a meteorite doesn’t get us first.