Past Hike Report Page

PDSCT Hike Report
Ravens Ridge to Deception Peak - Sangre De Cristos Region

Hike Distance (mi): 5.9
Elevation Change (ft): 2,000
Total Uphill (ft): 2,300
Total Downhill (ft): 2,300


Twas the day before July 4th….and all through the woods…. many creatures were stirring…..even us 16 intrepid hikers……but sometimes just barely. Just kidding. Well, mostly just kidding. These were some serious hikers doing a serious hike and trying to proceed at a ‘comfortable’ pace. After all, climbing over 2000 feet in 3 miles is rather serious business, especially when the start is at 10,300 feet.

Our adventure started at 8:15am as we left the senior center. Since our van has trouble with 16 passengers, one very considerate hiker volunteered to drive his own vehicle. I believe we were on the trail by 10:30am after the 75 mile ride to the Santa Fe Ski area and a stop at the rest area on the way. Spirits were high but chatting slowed down slightly as we trudged up the steep Winsor Trail. There were a fair amount of dark looking clouds for so early in the morning but we did our best to ignore them. We took our first real break after 3/4 mile at the wilderness border. We continued up to our next break (1.5 mile mark) and enjoyed the first of many splendid views of the surrounding mountain range. Santa Fe Baldy is most notable from here.

As if the hike hasn’t already been strenuous, now the trail becomes truly steep. As the hike leader, I was listening carefully for screaming or moaning. But WOW, I didn’t hear a single complaint. This must be a truly happy group…….or maybe there just wasn’t enough air for them to breathe and complain at the same time.

Eventually, after frequent breath catching stops, we reached the top of Ravens Ridge. I say ‘top’, but as we hike along the ridge, there are some declines followed be more climbing. We are richly rewarded by more spectacular views. This time most notably Nambe Lake far below. By the time we make our final push to the summit of Deception Peak, the thunder heads are really closing in. The wind has picked up and the temperature has dropped. Most of us scamper up to the summit at 12,300 feet for a brief but wonderful 360 degree view of the Sangre De Cristos. Truly amazing. Unfortunately, for comfort and safety (by now we have lightning), we decide to have our lunch at a lower and more sheltered spot just below the summit.

Lunch was rather brief due to the ever threatening weather. We head down with some folks wearing wind and/or rain gear. But still no rain…………..well, not until we were a little more than a mile from the end of the hike. And then it was only a brief shower. By the time we reached the van the sun was shining and warmth had returned.

Spectacular scenery, plentiful wildflowers (see photos), unpredictable weather, breathtaking climbing, happy folks (when they were able to breathe); what more can one ask for in a hike??

Web Album 1 Name: Russell
Web Album 1 Link: link
Web Album 2 Name: Daniel
Web Album 2 Link: link

Hike Leader: Dennis Kramer

NVSC Hike Report
Tree Spring Trail To Fossil Garden - Sandia Mountain East Region

Hike Distance (mi): 6.6
Elevation Change (ft): 1,003
Total Uphill (ft): 1,324
Total Downhill (ft): 1,324


5 hearty and adventurous hikers showed up to enjoy the cooler than normal weather. We enjoyed a great overlook from the end of the Tree Spring trail as the clouds rolled up the canyons and over our heads. When we were only 1/3rd of a mile from the Fossil Gardens, it was deceided by popular vote to head back to the van because of distant thundering and the outlook of a down pour which never materialized. At this point, our unconventional leader, “Rebel Frank” switched places with Dan who was our driver and sweep and Dan successfully led us back to the van.
Of the 3 hikers who called in for the hike, there was only 1 naughy hiker who did not call in to cancel. It obviously was not a problem this time but we all need to be more considerate of our fellow hikers.

Hike Leader: Frank Ernst

LVSC Hike Report
Barley Canyon - Jemez Mountains Region

Hike Distance (mi): 5.8
Elevation Change (ft): 775
Total Uphill (ft): 809
Total Downhill (ft): 809


Seven hikers left LVSC promptly at 8:19:21. The hike leader was also the van driver, thus leaving him talking to himself. When we got to FR 144, which would take us to the trailhead for the Hay-Oat Extended hike, there were black clouds everywhere. FR144 was found to be seriously eroded compared to the last time the driver had traveled it about a year ago. After traveling several miles, (like 5), over numerous ups and downs it was concluded that if we had a downpour it was unlikely that we would get back out with a 2WD van. Plus there was the danger sliding off of the dirt road into whatever. Sooo, we turned back and decided to do Barley canyon, whose dirt access was short and FLAT.

Finally underway at 11:00 am, everyone found the hike pleasant and GREEN. There were wildflowers, and butterflies to entertain us. As we hiked upward, a forest service fire truck came down the road and stopped to talk to us. Driven by a fair maiden who told us she was from California, and new here, she whips out her SFNF map and says, pointing to FR376 on the map, ‘I am here, right?’. She had started in on FR144 and decided things did not look so good, so took FR 376. We assured her the she would get to a nice paved road. Off she went, never to be seen again.

Oh, yes, the hike. Barley has a nice even grade and eventually the conversation turned to lunch, how strange. There was concern that the hike leader had to eat lunch at noon. Not so, they were assured and we coninued to the top where there was a nice view into San Antonio Canyon, home of the HOT springs. But we settled for lunch at 1:15.

Then turn around and go down after lunch, obviously a well planned hike. Lorraine and Yolanda, as usual, had their afterburners on. Jim got a nice lecture about how hiking once every couple of months will not keep one in shape for hiking. Celia, on her first senior hike, bemoans the fact that she was unaware that senior hiking existed in her first five years here, and she is moving to Oklahoma in a month. It was suggested that Tulsa and Oklahoma City was a lot like Santa Fe and Albuquerque anyway. Her response was ‘I only wish’. No, Celia, you cannot take New Mexico with you. Finally, we are back at the van at 2:45.

So homeward we go, stopping briefly at Walatowa and arrive back at LVSC at 4:35, precisely.

The next scheduled LVSC hike is on 7/20/2012. The hike will be Seven Springs. To see the hike description click here

Consider the next NDBMC scheduled hike on 7/13/2012. The hike will be Sandia Crest – Rocky Point Loop. To see the hike description click here.

Hike Leader: Dick Brown

PD-FITH Hike Report
Bill Spring - Faulty - Oso Corredor - Sandia Mountain East Region

Hike Distance (mi): 7.3
Elevation Change (ft): 1,200
Total Uphill (ft): 1,271
Total Downhill (ft): 1,271


Sixteen seniors piled into two vans driven by Cindy and Viv. We departed the center around 7:20 am and headed up to Doc Long’s campground in the Sandias. We started hiking promptly at 8:00 am with Viv/Larry leading and Cindy sweeping. Along the way, we heard Cindy’s favorite bird again…the Hermit Thrush…(is this correct now, Cindy??). You could tell along the trail that it had been raining recently in the Sandias. We had some cloud cover and slight breeze to keep us cool as we made our way to the intersection with Tree Spring Trail. On the way back down the trail, someone spotted a really cool looking dead tree which served as our hikers’ “picture frame”…just about everyone took the opportunity to STRIKE A POSE for a pic. . The only one who forgot to smile for the camera was JOE!! He blamed it on the photographer for not saying “CHEESE”! We reached our lunch spot…2 nice long fallen logs lining the 10:30 we decided to call it “brunch” rather than “lunch”. It took us only 1.5 hr to return down the trail to the vans.
After canvasing the hikers, we decided to stop at mcdonald’s for some treats and coffee and play time with the children…We were back to the center by 1:20 pm..Everyone agreed they got a good workout today and it wasn’t too hot at all!

Hike Leader: Cindy McConnell, Vivian Heyward

LV-FIT Hike Report
San Gregorio Reservoir Short - San Pedro Parks Region

Hike Distance (mi): 4.0
Elevation Change (ft): 380
Total Uphill (ft): 380
Total Downhill (ft): 380


Fourteen hikers pile in the vans and leave LV-FIT not so promptly at 7:30. Van drivers Cindy and Dick, with great expertise, find their way across the hinterlands (Unser) to US 550, saving a grand total of minus five minutes compared to the interstates. We arrive in Cuba for, you guessed it. Then on to the trailhead, arriving at 9:45.

After fifteen minutes of milling around we are on our way. Everywhere there is GREEN. There has been rain and the air smells fresh. A damp trail and NO clouds of dust. As Cindy would say, ‘Yea’. By 10:30 we are at the San Gregorio Reservoir. Are we good or what. Jan, Executive Photography Director, calls for a group picture. Cindy’s camera is busted. A camera appears from Dick’s pack. Like it or not, Cindy is now the official photographer for the hike.

We continue to the lunch waypoint. This is just too easy, so we continue. Oops, this trail is getting steep. Great move hike leader. Who is the hike leader? We find a long log to sit on, a few outliers here and there.

Now it is time to return. We virtually fly down the trail, arriving back at the van at 1:15. Now what do we do? Oh, ok, go home. So back to Cuba for ice cream, coffee etc.. Then back on the road, we finally arrive back at the center at around 4:30. This is astonishing. Everyone leaves.

The next scheduled LV-FIT hike is on 7/25/2012. The hike will be Las Conchas – Box – East Fork Wade. To see the hike description click here

Consider the next NDB-FIT scheduled hike on 7/18/2012. The hike will be Spruce Spring – Red Canyon Loop. To see the hike description click here

Web Album 1 Name: Cindy's photographic magic
Web Album 1 Link: link

Hike Leader: Cindy McConnell

NDBMC Hike Report
Sandia Crest - Rocky Point Loop - Sandia Mountain East Region

Hike Distance (mi): 4.3
Elevation Change (ft): 435
Total Uphill (ft): 514
Total Downhill (ft): 514


Twenty hikers showed up for the first-ever North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center (NDBMC) hike on a lucky Friday the 13th. We had to scramble find rides for the seven participants who were unable to find a seat in the van. The two supplemental drivers were very much appreciated.

For approximately one-third of the hikers, this was their first ASCHG experience. It was refreshing to see all of the new faces. The weather gurus forecasted rain, but we didn’t get rained on. We enjoyed the signs of the previous night rain, including a good sweet smell of pine needles on the trail and a soft cushion-like trail surface.

Two deer and a few squirrels were encountered. We were relieved not to have seen the mountain lion observed three weeks ago during the exploratory hike. Hummingbirds put on a show on the gift shop patio. Flowers which stood out included the penstemon, the yarrow (used by the Romans as an astringent for treating wounds),paintbrush and columbine. Most of us had a chance to feel the soft texture of the Cork Bark Fir. We marveled at the fossils of sea creatures captured at the time a good part of the area was covered by a great sea.

The new hikers were impressed by our system of keeping the group together by frequent breaks and head counting as well as a person designated as our sweep. All of us were impressed by the good condition of each and every hiker. It appears that the North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center (NDBMC) is off to a good start, despite it being Friday the thirteenth.

Thanks to Dick, the Hike Coordinator for NDBMC, for designing this interesting and enjoyable hike and for coming along with us. Also thanks to Becky and Joyce for contributing the interesting pics.

Bill Gloyd, Hike Leader.

The next scheduled NDBMC hike is on 7/27/2012. The hike will be San Antonio Hot Spring.

Consider the next LVSC scheduled hike on 7/20/2012. The hike will be Seven Springs.

Web Album 1 Name: Becky and Joyce
Web Album 1 Link: link

Hike Leader: Bill Gloyd

PDSCS Hike Report
Ravens Ridge to Deception Peak - Sangre De Cristos Region

Hike Distance (mi): 5.9
Elevation Change (ft): 2,000
Total Uphill (ft): 2,300
Total Downhill (ft): 2,300


14 intrepid hikers left the Palo Duro Senior Center ferried to the hike by our able driver Tom Dieterle. We made a pit stop at the rest area just before Santa Fe and were disappointed to find that the normally available free coffee was unavailable. Continuing on through Santa Fe, we noticed the building dark clouds to the north over the mountains. By the time we reached the Santa Fe Ski Basin, the weather did not look promising. We began hiking at 11:00, but we expected to get wet and perhaps be deterred from reaching the summit of Deception Peak due to storm activity. But, the hiking gods were smiling; the weather was near perfect. No rain, but cloudy and cool for most of the hike.

All hikers made the summit without undue hardship, but several commented on the difficulty of the hike. It starts at 10,300 ft elevation and peaks out at 12,300 feet. The hard work ascending Deception Peak was rewarded with outstanding vistas of the Pecos Wilderness, the Santa Fe area, and the Jemez Mountains. We had wonderful views of Santa Fe Baldy, Lake Peak, Pentitente Peak, and the Truchas Peaks further north. The summit also afforded great views of Nambe Lake 1000 feet below. Unfortunately, the views of distant mountains were somewhat degraded due to fairly heavy haze. After enjoying lunch at the summit, we descended without mishap, hiking through the ski area and departed at 4:00. We arrived back at the center shortly before 6:00. A long, hard, but highly rewarding day.

Vivian documented the trip with some excellent pictures that can be viewed at the link below.

Web Album 1 Name: Vivian Heyward
Web Album 1 Link: link

Hike Leader: Russell Butts

PD-FITH Hike Report
Las Conchas - Box - East Fork Wade - Jemez Mountains Region

Hike Distance (mi): 5.5
Elevation Change (ft): 618
Total Uphill (ft): 420
Total Downhill (ft): 868


We had 18 hikers today with Viv and Cindy driving the two vans. We departed at 7:25 pm and started our hike at the Las Conchas trailhead by 9:25 am after delivering one van to our pick up point at the East Fork Jemez River trailhead. Hikers enjoyed sunny skies, light breezes and an array of beautiful wildflowers including fields of daisies, penstamon, wild geraniums..When we reached the river we waded in water over our knees if you were shorter than 5ft2″. We all helped one another at the difficult places along the wade to the box. When we reached the box, there were a few younger guys up at the diving platform but none of them took the plunge even though Bob offered them $30 to jump! oh well. We enjoyed a 30 min rest and some lunch at the Box…then we headed back down the river crossing it numerous places the river shoreline was quite muddy..but we navigated our way around most of that mucky stuff. The river was not clear..a bit muddy looking probably due to some recent rains in the Jemez Mts. last week. We hiked about 6 miles with a hiking time of about 3.5 miles. Everyone seemed to enjoy this outing…it did not rain on us and the weather didn’t get nasty until we arrived in Albuqerque. We returned to the center by 4:15 pm.

Web Album 1 Name: Viv's album
Web Album 1 Link: link

Hike Leader: Vivian Heyward, Cindy McConnell

PDSCT Hike Report
Cave Creek - Pecos Region

Hike Distance (mi): 5.2
Elevation Change (ft): 571
Total Uphill (ft): 720
Total Downhill (ft): 720


Despite predicted rain showers, Tuesday was a perfect hiking day. We started with 10 hikers, but lost one to a family call for help just before we left Palo Duro. Hikers stocked up on brochures and coffee at the rest stop just south of Santa Fe. We arrived at the Cave Creek trailhead at 10:30 a.m. to find a very fragrant Forest Service honey dipping operation in progress. Ugh. The hike offered fresh air, lots of pretty scenery and an excellent assortment of wildflowers, including monk?s hood, paintbrush, Richardson?s and James geranium, meadow cinquefoil and white checkermallow. We arrived at the second set of caves about 12:15 p.m. and were able to cross the stream on logs and actually explore the caves (first time doing so for most of us). After a leisurely lunch we checked out the first set of caves on the way back and talked with horseback riders gathered there with their animals. We were thankful for the shaded parts of the trail and reached the trailhead about 2:15 p.m. Even with a stop at the Dairy Queen on the way back to Albuquerque we reached the center just before 5 p.m. thanks to Ken Smith?s excellent driving. Joan Weisman took some great photos; wish I knew how to show them.

Hike Leader: Judie Schwartz

NDB-FIT Hike Report
Spruce Spring - Red Canyon Loop - Manzano Mountains East Region

Hike Distance (mi): 7.8
Elevation Change (ft): 1,754
Total Uphill (ft): 1,928
Total Downhill (ft): 1,928


Eight hearty hikers enjoyed the Spruce Spring – Red Canyon Loop hike. It was a warm day, so we hiked at a slower pace and stopped more frequently to cool down. (See photo of Cindy with her fan.) Different flowers were blooming than in June, including nodding onion, violet woodsorrel, and a yellow sunflower that attracted red and yellow bees (or flies?) that none of us had ever seen before (see photos). At the first and second lunch spots most hikers braved the sun while the hike leader chose the shade. We were glad to stop hiking uphill and get to the head of Red Canyon. The stream wasn’t flowing, but this is still a beautiful hike. We admired the shiny rocks along the trail, and the rock formations near the (currently dry) waterfalls. We stopped at the general store in Manzano for cold drinks, ice cream, and coffee. On the way back, we were treated to distant thunder and lightning, which turned into a downpour just as we reached the center at 5:30 PM, welcome rain even though we got drenched.

The next scheduled NDB-FIT hike is on 8/1/2012. The hike will be San Antonio Hot Spring. To see the hike description click here

Consider the next LV-FIT scheduled hike on 7/25/2012. The hike will be Las Conchas – Box – East Fork Wade. To see the hike description click here

Web Album 1 Name: Dick's web album
Web Album 1 Link: link
Web Album 2 Name: Marilyn's web album
Web Album 2 Link: link

Hike Leader: Marilyn Warrant

NVSC Hike Report
Armijo Canyon Loop - Sandia Mountain East Region

Hike Distance (mi): 5.3
Elevation Change (ft): 780
Total Uphill (ft): 975
Total Downhill (ft): 975


Five determined hikers met in the parking lot of NVSC to hike in spite of the unexpected center closure. Dan kindly volunteered to drive, and we arrived at the trailhead around 8:45. We had the long, steady rains of the night before to thank for the damp trail and fragrant woods, although the stream was still dry. We took our time going up the trail to the overlook, where we had lunch. Some cloud cover arrived just in time to give us some shade as we made our way down the hill and into La Cienega canyon, and we were glad for the slightly shorter and flatter route back, a variation mentioned in the hike description. We saw big clumps of cutleaf coneflowers along the trail, along with numerous busy orange butterflies. We wound our way through the picnic area, staying in the woods until we arrived back at the car. We made one last pit stop at the restroom near the parking area, and were treated to a rare sight. Thanks to sharp-eyed Maria, we spotted a bear digging for grubs, perhaps, in the dirt about 20 yards from us. Several of us said this was our first bear-sighting in the Sandias, and it was the perfect way to wrap up our enjoyable morning in the mountains.

Hike Leader: Nancy Carr

LVSC Hike Report
Seven Springs - Jemez Mountains Region

Hike Distance (mi): 5.7
Elevation Change (ft): 277
Total Uphill (ft): 302
Total Downhill (ft): 302


After some confusion, we had to do a count of hikers and more than 10 fingers were involved, 15 hikers piled into 2 vans and we were off at 8:30 with Jim and Dick driving. After stopping briefly at Walatowa, we negotiated the construction on SR 126 without delay and arrived at the trailhead at 10:30.

The day was sunny, that NM blue sky without a cloud in sight. The temp was warm but bearable. As we neared the endpoint we decided to have lunch beneath some nice shade trees.

After lunch 4 of us decided to stay in the shade while the rest went on to the spring. Upon their return back down the valley punctuated by cattle here and there. Very pleasant, and the nice weather holding.

On the way back we were held up for 20 minutes by the construction. Then another stop at Walatowa for refreshments. We arrived back at the center at 4:45. On entering the center to return the spot unit and keys to the vans we found the center dark and deserted. But Maria was still there waiting patiently (well maybe not) for our return.

There is no LVSC hike on 8/03/2012

Consider the next NDBMC scheduled hike on 7/27/2012. The hike will be San Antonio Hot Spring. To see the hike description click here

Web Album 1 Name: Dick's pictures
Web Album 1 Link: link

Hike Leader: James Caress

PD-FITH Hike Report
Ravens Ridge to Deception Peak - Sangre De Cristos Region

Hike Distance (mi): 5.9
Elevation Change (ft): 2,000
Total Uphill (ft): 2,300
Total Downhill (ft): 2,300


We had 15 hikers venture into the Sangre de Cristos for a challenging D-level hike. Our guest hike leader, Russell Butts, led us on a “hail of a hike” today. We departed the center around 7;20 pm and was at the Winsor Trailhead ready to hike by 9:15. The temp was a cool 65 degrees with cloud cover for most of the day. It took us 2:45 to ascend 2000 ft over a distance of just 3 miles which equaled about a 15% grade. Everyone hung in there taking rests when needed. We arrived at the top of Deception Peak around noon and had a lunch break for just 25 minutes before the dark clouds and thunder caused us to rush down the peak to seek the cover of spruce trees. During this spriint, it started to hail (see pics). That is why Larry’s clever brain came up with “Russ led us on a hail of a hike today!”. It rained off and on all the way back to van. It took us less than 2 hr to get downhill along the ski slopes to the van. After some gelato and special coffees at ECCO in Santa Fe we departed for home and hit more moisture along the way. By the time we got back to sr. center it was pouring cats and dogs. Everyone said their goodbyes and ran for cover. This was another memorable hike..and we ask….why does it rain every time Russell leads a hike for PD-FIT??

Web Album 1 Name: Viv's album
Web Album 1 Link: link

Hike Leader: Russell Butts, Cindy McConnell

PDSCT Hike Report
Hamilton Mesa - Pecos Region

Hike Distance (mi): 5.7
Elevation Change (ft): 825
Total Uphill (ft): 1,070
Total Downhill (ft): 1,070


14 hikers survived the challenging road to the trail head at Iron Gate. Luckily there had not been a recent downpour. We did have an alternative hike at Holy Ghost if the road had been too bad. Although the road to Iron Gate is only 4 miles long, at 5+ miles an hour it takes time but the views along the way are great. The area was nice and green with many wild flowers from recent rains. Some of us hiked above the lunch spot to the carins at the top of the hills for great panoramic views. On our drive out we saw deer at two different places. One deer was kind enought to pose for pictures even after we stopped the van. The weather was touch and go with some thunder in the distance and dark clouds on the way out but we never did need our ponchos.

Hike Leader: Frank Ernst

NDB-FIT Hike Report
San Antonio Hot Spring - Jemez Mountains Region

Hike Distance (mi): 5.5
Elevation Change (ft): 440
Total Uphill (ft): 615
Total Downhill (ft): 615


Ten hikers left NDBMC at 8:15 with Cindy driving. After a brief stop at Walatowa we went on to FR 144 for the 6.5 mile rough ride to the trailhead. At the 4 mile point we were flagged down by a young couple who needed a jump start. Of course we could, having been fully equipped with a ‘Red Suitcase’. So we followed them to this incredible campsite overlooking San Antonio Canyon. After rummaging through the Red Suitcase for awhile we found the contends list. Oops, no jumper cables. After tightening a loose battery cable, the vehicle still would not start. But wait, there is a power pack. Where is it? Safely back at the Center of course. So we offered our condolences, no cell reception there, and proceeded to the trailhead.

We proceeded down the closed road into the canyon and were treated to the open valley lined with evergreen trees and sheer cliffs. Blue skies and white clouds topped it all off. We took the two track south to the parking where there were several vehicles that had negotiated the wretched FR 376, showing no regard whatsoever for their vehicles. Crossing the new bridge we trudged up the trail to the springs, arriving around noon. We were astonished. Everyone in the springs had some clothes on. So the hikers enjoyed the springs and had lunch.

Sorry, time to go, we went back down to the bottom and started back up the valley on the east side of the stream. Very nice. Then we found a wall of about a gazillion cattle headed toward us, being driven by two horses, two riders, and two dogs. Yikes! What to do. Some of us headed for the woods, others toward the stream bank. They did not bag a single hiker as they passed by, the dogs yipping and running around like they were on something. Finally we found a place to cross the stream (sorry, being a former easterner, these are not rivers). Then we trudged back up the two track to our van.

Back out the bumpy road, a stop at Walatowa for refreshments etc and eventually arriving back at the center at a little after five.

The next scheduled NDB-FIT hike is on 8/15/2012. The hike will be Challenge Loop. To see the hike description click here

Consider the next LV-FIT scheduled hike on 8/8/2012. The hike will be Sandia Crest House To Tram. To see the hike description click here

Web Album 1 Name: Dawn's Pictures
Web Album 1 Link: link
Web Album 2 Name: Dick's Pictures
Web Album 2 Link: link

Hike Leader: Cindy McConnell