Monday, January 2: Bernardo Waterfowl Area Birdwatching trip. 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Drive 3-mile-long vehicle tour loop in wildlife refuge, take short walks to three viewing platforms and stop to watch birds and wildlife along the route. We will see some of the thousands of snow geese and Sandhill cranes that overwinter in the middle Rio Grande Valley. Mule deer, coyotes, bald eagles, hawks, kestrels, ducks, quail and songbirds may also be seen. The refuge is 53 miles south of Albuquerque at 164 NM-116, Bosque, NM. Meet at the Bernardo Waterfowl Area entrance at 8:00 a.m. Bring binoculars and cameras. No dogs please.
Trip leader: Arlene
Thursday, January 12: Zero Waste Tour of Waste Connections Recycling Center (formerly Friedman’s). 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Come see how all of our blue bin recycling is sorted. Find out how much is actually recycled and get answers to other recycling questions. Vests, helmets, eye protection and ear plugs will be provided. Appropriate Covid-19 protocols will be observed. Dress warmly as buildings are not heated. Register early as space is limited to 12 adults. Meet at the Education Bldg., 5049 Edith Blvd. NE, Albuquerque.
Saturday, January 14: Dirty Bosque Bike Ride to Valle del Oro. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Flat and curvy ride in the Bosque, approximately 20 miles, all dirt trails and ditch banks. We will see river, cranes and geese, maybe porcupines. This is not difficult riding, but distance on dirt feels longer than on paved roads. Mountain or dirt bike are necessary for this ride due to sand and possible mud. Sealant in the tires will prevent flats from goat heads, please have tires ready with this. Helmet is mandatory and bring water and snacks. Warmer clothing may be needed. Appropriate Covid-19 protocols will be observed.
Sunday, January 15: To the River and Through the Woods Hike. We will start at the Rio Grande Nature Center parking lot at 10:00 am for this approximately one-hour, easy 2-mile hike. Eyes wide open, cheek bones to the breeze, a trek through the winter wonders of the Bosque. No dogs please. Children over 12 accompanied by parent or legal guardian are welcome. Wear comfortable shoes or boots, dress in layers, consider a warm hat. Bring water, snack, walking stick if needed.
Saturday, February 4: Snow Moon Snowshoe Hike. Glistening snow, a chill in the air and the crunch of snow under your feet, this is what you have to look forward to while we celebrate the rising of the full Snow Moon. Snowshoeing under a full moon is simply magical. This introductory level outing is perfect for those who’ve never tried snowshoeing as well as those who are longtime enthusiasts. The leader will cover techniques to help you safely traverse in an alpine environment while exploring the beautiful Sandia Mountains. Sponsored by the Military Outdoors Program and is open to everyone. This hike is rated as moderate and is approximately 3.0 miles round trip with 300 feet of elevation gain.
Wednesday, February 8 thru Thursday February 9: Lightweight Backpacking Outing. If you’ve mastered basic skills traveling in the backcountry lightweight style, this trip is right for you. Participants will meet at Winsor Trailhead and travel to Puerto Nambe area where we are going to spend the night. The next day we are going to do an Alpine style ascent to Santa Fe Baldy so that we can see the sunrise from the summit. We will plan to return to the trailhead soon after we refuel and pack our packs. Please sign up for this outing only if you feel comfortable and fit to carry a backpack for more than four miles with elevation gain, summit the mountain and backpack back to the trailhead comfortably. This is not an outing for beginners. The route is 13.5 miles roundtrip with 3,500 feet of elevation gain. On this outing we are going to go over map and compass navigation, gear selection, Leave No Trace principles, self-care, off trail hiking, outdoor cooking and a few basic mountaineering skills.
Monday, February 20: Sunny Warm Holiday Hike. 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. This is a gradual but moderately challenging uphill hike, on a south facing slope over a 4.7-mile loop. It begins with a half mile walk, then you will climb with rocks and switchback turns to the top, with 1,600 feet of total elevation gain where you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views! You will need good boots and hiking poles, and there may be small amounts of snow. Bring food for a lunch, or a brief snack if we find snow on top, carry water, extra clothing, as it may be chilly. No dogs. Appropriate Covid protocols will be observed.
Friday, February 24: Tres Pistolas (Three Gun Springs) Hike. 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. We’ll get exercise taking this uphill, rocky trail to beautiful views. We’ll take a break at top so bring snack or lunch and water. Route is 5 miles and 2,000 of elevation gain on rough trail and no shade. Sunscreen and hat are a must; walking sticks are recommended. No Dogs. Appropriate Covid-19 precautions will be taken.
Wednesday, March 1 thru Thursday, March 2: Intro to Bike-packing. If you feel comfortable riding a bike on dirt roads and wish to learn how to travel in the backcountry on two wheels light-weight style this trip is right for you. Participants will meet at the Cabezon Wilderness Study Area sign, travel around the mountain and spend the night at the highest point on the route. The next day we are going to enjoy the sunrise, and have conversations about bike-packing basics. We will plan to leave camp at around mid-morning and return to our vehicles. Please sign up for this outing only if you feel comfortable and fit to pedal a MTB bike loaded with overnight gear for more than 13 miles with elevation gain. This is not an outing for beginner cyclists. The route is 22 miles roundtrip with 1,334 feet of elevation gain. On this outing we are going to go over map and route navigation, gear selection, Leave-No-Trace principles, self-care, backcountry bike riding, outdoor cooking and a few basic bike-packing skills.
Friday, April 21 to Sunday, April 23: Earth Day Service Trip to Secluded New Mexico State Park. Celebrate Earth Day by giving back. City of Rocks State Park is a city of ancient volcanic rocks that needs a gentle facelift and we need your help. We’ll stay in a group campsite with big skies, beautiful sunsets, and share evening campfires and conversations. On Friday and Saturday, we’ll perform light trail maintenance and have time for an eight-mile trail bike ride or hike on Sunday to enjoy our handiwork! Weather should be warm during the day with cool spring nights. Check-in on Friday after 2:00 p.m. Check-out on Sunday is no later than 2:00 p.m. A recommended gear and tool list will be provided a week in advance. Children 10 and over with parent or legal guardian are welcome.
Saturday, April 29: Intro to Land Navigation Course. We’ll be offering an introduction to land navigation on Saturday April 29th from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. It will include not only use of a map and compass but also some other skills to help you find your way in the wild. It will include both classroom and field instruction. Sponsored by the Military Outdoors Program and all are welcome. Participants will need to bring a suitable navigation compass and topographic map of the Sandia mountains. Additional information, gear list and meeting location for the classroom portion will be provided about one week in advance. Children over the age of 12 with parent or legal guardian may attend. No dogs. Class size will be limited to ten.