Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hiking in the Sandia Mountains

We're just a few miles from Albuquerque but it feels like another world. The Sandia Mountain range provides the Eastern border of Albuquerque and we've spent the last week in Cedar Crest, just over the Sandias from ABQ, at the Southern end of the range.

Rising to 10,678 feet, these mountains provide some beautiful and strenuous terrain for hiking. The views from the top are spectacular, on a clear day you can see for 100 miles.

We've hiked various short trails and are finding the altitude to be kind of challenging when going uphill. We thought with our slow rise in altitude over the past couple of months that we might have been getting used to it...guess it's not that easy! Oh well, it just means we hike slow and steady and get to enjoy the views even more as we stop to catch our breath more often.

Camping and fires are not allowed anywhere in the Sandias. Not only has the area suffered drought conditions for the past several years, but the Tussock Moth has killed large patches of Douglas Fir and other True Fir trees. In some areas the Forest Service has cut down hundred of these dead trees. The fire danger is extremely high at this time.

Here's a few pics from the various hikes we done in the Sandias over the past week. We've been to the top of the range, hiked the contours at about 8,000 feet and done a bit of hiking at the Southern end of the range. Much of the hiking is through heavily forested areas, and the views are few and quite spread out.

Another gorgeous sky has caught my attention!
View from the top of Sandia Crest.

Alpine meadow near Sandia Crest.

Kiwanis House on Sandia Crest.
It is perched on the edge of the Crest overlooking Albuquerque.
Trees downed by the Forest Service after they were killed by the Tussock Moth.
I don't know if the FS intends to remove any of this fire fuel.
We've noticed that in this dry climate the wood does not disintegrate into the soil very quickly...
We've seen juniper stumps cuts by prospectors in the 1800's that had not decomposed!

This Aberts Squirrel has an amazing tail!

Walking through a Ponderosa Pine avenue.
Hiking the Southern end of the Sandias on the South Crest Trail we came upon a grotto.
There is actually water dripping at the top of the photo.
These mountains are terribly dry and this was a welcome sight.

Bull snake drinking from the tiny stream!

A close up as it slithers away...

Tomorrow we have an easy 50 mile drive through pretty high desert country as we head to Santa Fe for a week.


  1. Wish we were heading to Santa Fe.....enjoy :-)

  2. Hi, Lisa. I love your blog and have been following it for a few months, but I think this is my first comment. We just arrived in Santa Fe today and are staying at the Trailer Ranch RV Park just a few miles from downtown. If you have time while you are here it would be fun to meet you. Feel free to send me an e-mail. --Pam and Vic

    1. Looking forward to meeting you...we arrive at the Trailer Ranch tomorrow! Sent you an email...