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

March 2022

Wednesday March 16: Zero Waste Tour of the Rio Grande Compost Facility on the West Mesa. This tour is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Come and see the process up close on how bio-sludge from the ABCWUA, is mixed with green waste, stable bedding and wood chips to make nutrient rich compost. Masks are required. Tour starts indoors with a brief orientation then moves outdoors and to an open warehouse so dress accordingly. Must wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. Participants must be able to stand and walk for the entire tour. Register for this event

Friday, March 18: Bike Ride Exploration of Valle de Oro NWR and Bike in Coffee. Valle de Oro (VdO) is one of the few Urban Wildlife Refuges – and it is right in our backyard! We will meet at the Entrance Area Parking at VdO at 8:00 a.m. and bike a short distance to the new Visitor’s Center and hear about the Refuge. Then we hit the Paseo del Bosque Trail for a 10.5-mile ride to Bike In Coffee at Old Town Farm. Round trip bike ride is 21 miles on flat, paved multi-use trail. Register for this event

April 2022

Wednesday, April 6 thru Thursday April 7: 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. Register for this outing

Thursday, April 7: Zero Waste Tour to Cerro Colorado Landfill. This tour of Albuquerque’s landfill will be mostly outdoors, so dress accordingly. Masks are required, as are long pants and closed-toed shoes. There will be an orientation meeting indoors followed by a driving and walking tour of the spacious campus. We’ll use the Solid Waste van, but can also accommodate up to two high clearance vehicles that can handle rough dirt roads. Safety vests will be distributed on site. Register for this outing by March 31

Tuesday, April 19: Intro to Land Navigation. This hands-on three-hour class on the use of map and compass for land navigation will teach you the basics you need to get you on your way or be a refresher for those whose skills have grown rusty. Participants must be prepared for varying weather conditions and bring an Aspen Basin Quad topographical map available at USFS or US Geological Survey or at some outdoor stores, and a basic magnetic compass. Meet at 10:00 a.m. at Winsor Trailhead, Santa Fe Ski Basin. No dogs please. Children 14 and over with parent or legal guardian are welcome. Register for this outing

Friday, April 22: Chaco Canyon Earth Day Hike. The Chaco Canyon Earth Day Hike will take place at Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Participants will hike the Penasco Blanco Trail, a 7.2 mile loop over packed dirt and sand with an elevation gain of 200 feet.  The trail passes several ruins and petroglyph panels and has spectacular views of the New Mexico’s Northwest Plateau and the 4 Corners. This hike on Earth Day will reinforce participants’ commitment to preserving and protecting this unique cultural and environmental area that is constantly being threatened by fossil fuel extraction. Register for this event

Saturday, April 23: Earth Day Celebration Bike Ride. Celebrate Earth Day by taking a bike ride through the Rio Grande bosque. We’ll meetup at the Hispanic Cultural Center at 8:30 a.m., ride up to the Rio Grande Nature Center and return via Bike-in Coffee for drinks and snacks. The ride is on a flat, paved 13-mile route. Children 14 or over with parent or legal guardian are welcome. E-bikes are welcome. Helmet and appropriate attire for conditions are required. Register for this outing

May 2022

Wednesday, May 4: Valles Caldera Spring Fling. This season-opening hike in the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP) will be a great one.  We will hike the Redondo and Solitario Loops, 8.6 mile trail with an elevation gain of 1,305 feet.  The difficulty is rated as moderate.  The hike will go through mixed conifer/aspen interspersed with meadows and some burned areas.  We will encounter a few shallow streams that are easily crossed. Photo opportunities abound on this loop as we will have beautiful views of the Valle Grande, game trails with possible sightings of elk, as well as some Spring wildflowers. The hike will take approximately five hours. Register for this outing

Friday, May 6:  Las Conchas Trail Hike along the Jemez River East Fork. This seven-hour long 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. Then we will lunch together after the hike at Los Ojos in Jemez Springs. This easy pine forest hike alongside the mountain stream is approximately 3 miles round trip with 50 feet of elevation gain. You can find this hike listed as a Bonus Hike on page 217 of the 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles 3rd edition, by David Ryan and Steven Ausherman. Join us for a dose of nature and camaraderie. Register for this outing no later than May 1

Thursday, May 12: Mountain Flower Power Guided Tour. Join local expert Colida May for wildflower identification tour of the Haviland Lake perimeter where she will instruct the group in identifying wildflowers and plants and discuss their various edible and medicinal values. The wildflower hike will follow “Colida’s Loop”, a two-mile loop around Haviland Lake which has been re-filled. The flowers at this elevation should be near peak at this time of year, and the surrounding views of the Hermosa Cliffs to the west and Engineer Peak to the north are spectacular.  Register for this outing

Sunday, May 15: Bosque & Rio Grande Walk. This easy one hour walk of approximately 1.5 miles. Enjoy the solitude of the cottonwoods along the Rio Grande and encounter ducks, geese, porcupines and other inhabitants of the bosque on this late spring day. Children over 12 accompanied by parent or legal guardian are welcome. No dogs please.  Register for this outing no later than May 12

June 2022

Thursday, Jun 23: Alpine Wildflower Hike. Local wildflower expert Colida May will take us HIGHER as we hike the Pass Creek trail and identify Rocky Mountain wildflowers that will be blooming at over 10,500 ft on this four-mile hike. This trail is a well-traveled trail to the summit of Engineer Peak, the most photographed peak in Colorado. The wildflowers and views are magnificent with the surrounding peaks and pines providing the backdrop. The Pass Creek Trailhead is located 35 miles north of Durango, CO, at the summit of Coal Bank Hill. Registrants must be 18 years or older. No dogs. Must be able to hike four miles at an altitude of 10,500. The tour will take approximately four hours. Register for this outing

Friday, Jun 24: Eye of the Sandias Loop. Let’s go check out this quirky landmark in the southern Sandia foothills. This moderate-strenuous hike offers stunning city views. We’ll take a four-mile loop with 1,300 feet of elevation changes on an unshaded rough and rocky trail. It also includes some bouldering, as well as a long slow steep incline to the highest point which will give you a good cardio workout. No dogs please. Hiking poles may be useful to keep your balance. Register for this outing no later than June 20.

July 2022

Saturday, July 9: Armijo Trail and Cienega Spring Trail Loop Hike. Come to admire the beautiful ponderosa pines and mountain wilderness that’s right in our backyard. We’ll also stop to see one of the over 80 Medallion Trees found in the Sandias. Suitable for children over 12 years of age when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Five miles round trip with 900 feet of elevation gain over approximately four hours. Dogs on leash, OK. $3.00 US Forest Service parking-amenity fee in cash or Cibola Wilderness pass or other federal parks pass is required. Register for this outing no later than July 7.

Quick links

Outings news

June 2022 ICO hike with Santa Fe Youth Shelters-POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER 10

June 2022 ICO hike with Santa Fe Youth Shelters-POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER 10
The New Mexico ICO hike with Santa Fe Youth Shelters has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2022. We plan on hiking in La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs Area west of Santa Fe. We’re meeting at 8:45 and leaving at 9 a.m., ... Read More

May 2022 ICO hike with Big Brothers/Sisters of Santa Fe

May 2022 ICO hike with Big Brothers/Sisters of Santa Fe
The New Mexico ICO program will be hiking on Saturday, May 28, 2022 with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Santa Fe. We plan on hiking the Bayo Benches Loop in Los Alamos. We’re meeting at 8:45 and leaving at 9:00 a.m., ... Read More

May 2022 ICO hike with Santa Fe Youth Shelters

May 2022 ICO hike with Santa Fe Youth Shelters
The New Mexico ICO program will have an outing on Saturday, May 21, 2022 with Santa Fe Youth Shelters. We plan on hiking in La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs Area west of Santa Fe. We’re meeting at 8:45 and leaving at 9 ... Read More

Spring 2022 Outings

Spring 2022 Outings
Rio Grande Sierra Club outings for April-June 2022 ... Read More