Sierra Club outings are back!

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter outings are free and open to the public. Outings are listed in the quarterly Rio Grande Sierran, on our event calendar and also as a quarterly text listing. The Northern Group outings are generally listed on the Santa Fe Group Meetup site, and Chapter outings may also be listed on the Rio Grande Chapter Meetup site.

We offer hikes at all levels of difficulty, and the difficulty level is listed in each outing, along with trip and leader details. Below are general Sierra Club protocols for all outings.

  • Participants agree to abide by COVID-safe practices.
  • Participants must sign a standard Participation Agreement, required when registering for each outing.
  • Backcountry outings – participants must fill out a short medical form and provide it to the leader for backcountry outings or where a medical facility is more than one hour away. Forms will be destroyed or returned to the participant immediately following the outing.
  • Minors – the participation agreement must be completed and signed by parent or legal guardian (accompanied or unaccompanied).
  • Leaders may alter the destination or cancel a trip due to weather, unfavorable conditions, or insufficient number of participants.  The trip leader will contact you via the information you provided during registration.
  • Leaders reserve the right to turn away anyone whose experience or equipment appears unsuitable.
  • Dogs are permitted only if specifically noted in the trip details.
  • Bring water, lunch, sturdy hiking boots or shoes and clothing suitable for the weather.
  • All mileages are round-trip.

Interested in being a trip leader? Contact Outings Chair Terry Owen.

Click here for information about COVID-safe protocols
After a sixteen month hiatus, the Rio Grande Chapter resumed hikes, walks, and tours on July 5th. This is one of our most popular programs. The following COVID-19 protocols for Sierra Club Outings have been incorporated to help ensure the health and safety of our volunteers, participants and staff. These are subject to change based upon CDC and Sierra Club guidance. Thank you in advance for your patience and assistance.
  • Sign-up for outings will be through the chapter calendar only. Registration includes your contact information and required agreement forms.
  • If you’ve signed-up for an outing or event and begin to feel ill, please stay home and seek appropriate medical care.
  • No vaccine or test results are required and participants are not required to disclose their vaccination or test status. This means there may be both vaccinated and unvaccinated participants. It’s each participant’s choice to attend or not attend the outing with this knowledge.
  • Participants are welcome to wear masks if it makes them comfortable. Masks will be required for indoor components of an outing, while they are indoors. Masks are also required at all times for ICO outings participants, and in some other cases where minor children are participating.
  • If you should begin to feel ill or experience symptoms associated with COVID-19, during or after a Sierra Club outing, contact the Outings Leader so that they can notify other participants and club leadership for contact tracing purposes.
Click here for instructions on registering for an outing through the calendar
Registration for outings is through our online calendar only.
  • Select the appropriate month by using the left and right arrow buttons
  • Locate the event or outing for which you’d like to register
  • Click on the name of the outing or event and a registration form window will open
  • Provide the requested information in the registration form. Upon completion, click on the red “Submit” button at the bottom of the form.
  • If a liability waiver (participation agreement) is required to participate in the outing, a subsequent form will appear. Read and acknowledge the waiver (participants under the age of 18 will need a parent or legal guardian to complete the form with them) by checking the appropriate boxes at the bottom of the form. If you wish to submit a paper form instead, please request the form in advance from the Outings Leader listed in the announcement. Otherwise, click on the box labeled “Submit Digital Waiver”.
Click here to sign up for the Northern Group outings newsletter
You can send a message from your email account to listserv@lists.sierraclub.org, with the subject SUBSCRIBE RIO-NORTH-OUTINGS OR fill out the form below.
Click here for a current outings list

January 2023

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.

February 2023

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.

March 2023

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.

April 2023

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.

Quick links

Outings news

April 2023 hike with Santa Fe Youth Shelters

April 2023 hike with Santa Fe Youth Shelters
The New Mexico ICO program will be hiking on Saturday, April 1, 2023 with Santa Fe Youth Shelters. We plan on hiking at Cerrillos Hill State Park. We’re meeting at 8:45 and leaving at 9:00 a.m., and we should be ... Read More

Winter 2023 Outings

Winter 2023 Outings
Rio Grande Sierra Club hikes and outings for January - April 2023 ... Read More

Fall 2022 Outings

Fall 2022 Outings
Rio Grande Sierra Club hikes for October through December 2022 ... Read More

November 2022 hike with Santa Fe Youth Shelters

November 2022 hike with Santa Fe Youth Shelters
The New Mexico ICO program will be hiking on Saturday, November 5, 2022 with Santa Fe Youth Shelters. We plan on hiking at Galisteo Basin Preserve. We’re meeting at 8:45 and leaving at 9:00 a.m., and we should be back ... Read More