Sierra Club started with outings!

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 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 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

Please visit the calendar to register for any of these events.

July 2023

Sunday, July 2: Sierra Club Member Appreciation Picnic. Calling all Sierra Club members and friends! It’s simply been too long since we all got together. With summer approaching, let’s head to the mountains! Join the members and friends of the Rio Grande Chapter who have survived a global pandemic, come through legislative sessions, knocked doors to get out the vote, canvassed, called, organized outings, and faced a Pandora’s box of other challenges. We want to show our appreciation with a picnic and have some fun! Bring a potluck offering to share.

Saturday, July 8: Arroyo del Tajo Scramble. A Quebradas hike featuring strata exposed by millions of years of water erosion, and the eponymous tajo or gash, cut through ancient red-beds. We’ll scramble east up the arroyo to an elevated basin and then back down across the Quebradas Backcountry Byway to the lower part of the arroyo with more impressive formations from a quarter billion years ago. Hike is 6 miles with 500 feet of elevation gain and a little scrambling over rocks. Ages 14 and up with parent or legal guardian, no dogs.

Saturday, July 8: Yoga in The Mountains. If you’d like to explore the wonders of nature, hiking and outdoor yoga in the company of really nice people this is the hike! We’ll embark on an easy 3-mile hike that incorporates a one-hour outdoor yoga and mindfulness break midway. Includes 260 feet of elevation gain and amazing views of the mountains. Sponsored by the Sierra Club Military Outdoors Program and everyone is welcome.

Wednesday, July 12: Zero Waste E-recycling Tour. Come find out what more you can e-recycle than just computers and cell phones and how they are recycled. Where: Albuquerque Computer & Electronics Recycling Company in Albuquerque.

Thursday, July 13, Ride the Cool Ditches of the North Valley. Riding mostly on dirt, these trails are flat, can be narrow and we will do some waterway crossings on narrow bridges. There will be some sand and bumpy roots, which require moderate riding skills. Ride is 10 to 15 miles total on mostly flat terrain. Needed are mountain bikes in good condition and knowledge of flat tire repair. Helmets required. Limited to 10 participants. Children 16 years and over when accompanied by parent or legal guardian are welcome.

Friday, July 21 – Saturday, July 22: Intro to Backpacking and Wheeler Peak Climb. Wheeler Peak is New Mexico’s tallest peak at 13,161 feet. This is a great outing for those who’ve never backpacked before but would like to try it. We’ll backpack into the wilderness approximately 2 miles, camp for the evening and then get an alpine start the following morning with a small daypack for a 2–3-hour push to the summit. This route passes a beautiful alpine lake, winds thru towering pines and offers unforgettable views of the surrounding mountains. After enjoying a high-altitude lunch we’ll descend, break camp and head back to the trailhead. This hike is rated as strenuous and is approximately 9 miles round trip, with 3,000 feet of elevation gain.

Saturday, July 22: Arroyo del Alamillo Scramble. This scramble or off-trail hike, covers 6 miles with 600 feet of elevation gain and loss. The terrain is of ancient uplifts of mostly Permian-age sedimentary strata, being washed down into what’s now the Rio Grande valley over many millions of years. You don’t have to know any geology to marvel at this colorful and sometimes precipitous terrain, but you do need to be ready to pant up a rocky slope as the price of a view from the highest point we’ll reach. Ages 14 and up, no dogs.

August 2023

Tuesday, August 8: Zero Waste Tour of the Southside Wastewater Reclamation Plant. Orientation will include a slideshow of activated sludge and the live critters that consume it, followed by a tour of the extensive facility showing the stages of wastewater reclamation. This will be mostly outside and includes walking and standing so comfortable shoes are recommended. Long pants and closed-toed shoes are required. Limit 12; children aged 8 and up accompanied by parent or legal guardian may participate.

Thursday, August 10: Ride the Cool Ditches of the North Valley. See July 23.

Saturday, August 12: Yoga in The Mountains. See July 8.

Saturday, August 19: Making Connections from West Albuquerque Bike Ride. Learn about the extensive off-street paved bike trails throughout the west side and connections across the river! This 16-mile round trip route will go through 300 feet of elevation change, most of it from the riverbed up to the west mesa via a bike and pedestrian bridge adjacent to the interstate. Children 15 years and over when accompanied by parent or legal guardian are welcome.

Sunday, August 20: Mindful Birding Walk to Fillmore Falls, Dripping Springs Natural Area. Our pace will be about two miles per hour, with frequent pauses to listen for birdsong, notice any wildlife, so bring binoculars if you wish, take some deep breaths, and enjoy the beauty of the Organ Mountains and Fillmore Canyon. It is unlikely there will be any water in the falls at this time of year, but the cool canyon walls still provide a lovely point to rest, snack and contemplate. The trail has a few stretches with larger rocks but is otherwise well maintained. This is a relatively easy 2.1 mile out and back hike with 450 feet of elevation gain. No dogs. $5 per vehicle or National Park Pass required.

September 2023

Saturday, September 9: Cerrillos del Coyote Scramble. See absorbing rock formations on the Cerrillos del Coyote hike, and walk up and down some of them. It’s enough to make you interested in geology and deep time. These rocks were laid down long before the dinosaurs came along, so the most we might see would be small marine fossils. Six miles round trip, 900 feet elevation gain. Ages 14 and up with parent or legal guardian, no dogs.

Wednesday, September 13: Zero Waste Tour of Soilutions Compost and Soil Yard. Come tour this facility that makes regular and organic compost and soil in Albuquerque’s south valley. Walter will be our extremely knowledgeable and engaging tour guide so be ready with your questions. Tour is outdoors so dress appropriately. Closed toed comfortable shoes recommended as we will be standing the whole time. Children 12 and up with parent or legal guardian. No dogs. Limit 12.
Leader: Laurie Zunner

Friday, September 15: Las Conchas Trail Hike Along the Jemez River East Fork. This outing includes one hour of driving each way from departure point, along the lovely winding mountain Highway 4 with a photo stop at the Gilman tunnels and waterfall. This easy pine forest hike alongside the mountain stream is approximately 3 miles round trip with 50 feet of elevation gain. Bring water, lunch, and wear outer layers. This hike is appropriate for children over 12 accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. No dogs.

Friday, September 22 to Saturday, September 30: Escalante Petrified Forest State Park Utah Service Project. Join us for a week long service trip at Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, a half mile north of the town of Escalante. This park is only seven miles from the famed Hole-in-the-Rock Road, which takes you deep into Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. There are numerous gorgeous hikes in the National Monument, including Coyote Gulch.At the State Park, we will have access to showers, water and power.

Saturday, September 23: Yoga in The Mountains. See July 8.

Saturday, September 23: Arroyo de las Cañas scramble. Water wearing through Paleozoic rock strata has left multicolored formations in the Quebradas, across the Rio Grande from Socorro. We’ll walk 3.5 mi up the arroyo with only 240’ elevation gain but a few million years of geological time, at which point (teaser coming) we’ll decide whether to continue to a remarkable feature just 1.4 mi farther. Bring: Water, snacks, any other health and comfort items desired. Ages 14 and up, no dogs. Rain cancels.

Saturday, September 30: Wilderness First Aid Course 2-day event. This course is in high demand and typically fills-up months in advance. The SOLO Wilderness First Aid Course is a 2-day first aid course that provides training for anyone that spends time hiking, skiing, engaged in other outdoor pursuits, or just wants to know what to do when things go south. The course is a blend of lecture, demonstrations, and scenarios. Attendees must participate in all portions and hours of the course to obtain certification. By learning a few basic skills, you can make the difference between a good outcome and a bad one-and maybe even save a life. The price for the course is $200 per person.

Saturday, September 30 to Saturday, October 7: Island in the Sky District – Canyonlands National Park Service Project. The Rio Grande Chapter is co-sponsoring a service trip to Island in the Sky-Canyonlands National Park for a Service Project in conjunction with the Austin (TX) Group of the Sierra Club. Join us for a week-long service trip at Canyonlands National Park. This park is divided into three parts, and we will be in the Island in the Sky District. There are numerous gorgeous hikes at Island in the Sky. We will have access to showers and toilets but will not have electricity at our campsite.
Leader: Stan Peyton
Level: Moderate
Location: Canyonlands, UT
More information and registration on Austin Meetup site

Quick links

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