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.
- 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”.
Please visit the calendar to register for any of these events.
Throughout April: City of Albuquerque Open Space Cleanups. Come join us to pick up trash and celebrate our amazing open spaces. Registrations will be taken at the link provided for each event. Choose a date that works for you and join us and the City of Albuquerque to clean-up one of your favorite outdoor spaces. Choose from one of the five dates and locations and register. If your first choice is full, choose another location and date.
Saturday, April 1: No Fooling Bike Commuting. This 8 mile course over 224 feet elevation gain will pass by city parks and destinations between Uptown and Nob Hill. Previous experience riding in mixed traffic is recommended. This ride is appropriate for children over the age of 16 when accompanied by parent or legal guardian. A road-suitable bike and helmet are required. Tire sealant and bike lock are strongly recommended. No direct cost, money for purchases at restaurants and shops is recommended.
Saturday, April 1: Earth Month Open Space Cleanup-Copper Avenue Trailhead. Come join us to pick up trash and celebrate our amazing open spaces. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the location of your choice and sign-in with the City of Albuquerque representative. We will team up for about three-four hours to clean-up the surrounding area. Come for all of it or part of it. Bring water, sunscreen, gloves, hat, a snack, a trash bag or bucket, and wear closed-toed shoes. This is a great activity for families with children. Children 18 or under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Saturday, April 8: Earth Month Open Space Cleanup-Embudo Canyon. Come join us to pickup trash and celebrate our amazing open spaces. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the location of your choice and sign-in with the City of Albuquerque representative. We will team up for about three-four hours to clean-up the surrounding area. Come for all of it or part of it. Bring water, sunscreen, gloves, hat, a snack, a trash bag or bucket, and wear closed-toed shoes. This is a great activity for families with children. Children 18 or under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Thursday, April 13: Zero Waste Tour of BARCO Recycling Center. 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. Must be able to climb stairs and not be bothered by a very noisy environment. Masks are optional. Register early as space is limited to 10 adults.
Saturday, April 15: Earth Month Open Space Cleanup-Menaul Picnic Area. Come join us to pick up trash and celebrate our amazing open spaces. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the location of your choice and sign-in with the City of Albuquerque representative. We’ll team up for about three-four hours to clean-up the surrounding area. Come for all of it or part of it. Bring water, sunscreen, gloves, hat, a snack, a trash bag or bucket, and wear closed-toed shoes. This is a great activity for families with children. Children 18 or under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Sunday, April 16: Tunnel Springs Loop Hike. The Tunnel Springs Loop is on the Placitas side of the Sandias and is enjoyable enough to keep repeating. There are beautiful views on this trail of the Sandias, the volcanos and other surrounding mountains. The surface of the trail seems to stay decent most of the year. The trail up goes by an abandoned mine. This is a loop trail with 1,165 feet elevation gain, approx. 4.5 miles long total. This will take approximately 3-1/2 hours (allowing time for stops and snacks). All Trails considers this a moderately challenging route.
Sunday, April 16: Migrating Birds Along Animas River in Farmington. Expect to see ducks, geese, herons, woodpeckers, probably raptors and hummingbirds, friendly chickadees, noisy corvids, and colorful warblers, as well as some of the usual suspects. Always a surprising bird. Along these riparian, urban habitats well also visit the Model Xeriscape Garden, and the All-Veterans Memorial Plaza. Eighteen years-old and up only. No dogs please.
Tuesday, April 18: Sand Canyon-Trail of the Ancients Hike. Sand Canyon trailhead is located 15 miles west of Cortez, CO on McElmo Creek Road (CR G). This loop hike will be over sections of the Sand Canyon and Rock Creek trails with connectors. Trailhead elevation is 5,400 feet. This 3–4-hour, 5-mile hike will travel over a rocky, sandy, sometimes packed, sometimes slick, rock trail through pinyon-juniper ecosystem with an elevation gain of 400 feet. Trail passes several Ancestral Puebloan Ruins, many of which are accessible and interactive. Sand Canyon is surrounded by red rock and Navajo sandstone mesas and plateaus with diverse geological features.
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. Children 10 and over with parent or legal guardian are welcome.
Saturday, April 22: Earth Month Open Space Cleanup-Piedra Lisa Open Space. Come join us to pick up trash and celebrate our amazing open spaces. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the location of your choice and sign-in with the City of Albuquerque representative. We will team up for about three-four hours to clean-up the surrounding area. Come for all of it or part of it. Bring water, sunscreen, gloves, hat, a snack, a trash bag or bucket, and wear closed-toed shoes. This is a great activity for families with children. Children 18 or under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Saturday, April 22: Earth Day Valley of Dreams Moon Walk. Join the Rio Grande Chapter Military Outdoors Program. as we celebrate Earth Day by hiking The Valley of Dreams in the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness located between Chaco Canyon and the Bisti-De-na-zin Wilderness. This is an other-worldly landscape of hoodoos, water-carved clay hills and other unique geological formations, fossils, petrified logs and magnificent vistas stretching from Mount Taylor in the south to Colorado’s La Plata Mountains in the north, and from the Chuska Mountains in the west to the Jemez Mountains in the east.
Sunday, April 23: Mindful Birding Walk to Fillmore Falls, Dripping Springs Natural Area. This is a moderate 2.1 mile out and back hike with about 450 feet of elevation gain. The leader will share some of the health benefits of mindful time in nature and encourage a lot of listening with a quiet attitude. Pace will be about two miles per hour, with frequent pauses to listen for birdsong, notice any wildlife (bring binoculars), 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.
Wednesday, April 26-27: Intro to Bikepacking 2-day event. This is a lightweight bikepacking outing. 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 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, have conversations about bikepacking basics and future adventures. We will plan to leave camp at around mid-morning and return to where we parked 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 comfortably. This is not an outing for beginner cyclists. The route is 22 miles roundtrip with 1,334 feet of elevation gain.
Saturday, April 29: Earth Month Open Space Cleanup-Embudito-Bear Canyon Trailhead. Come join us to pick up trash and celebrate our amazing open spaces. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the location of your choice and sign-in with the City of Albuquerque representative. We will team up for about three-to-four hours to clean up the surrounding area. Come for all of it or part of it. Bring water, sunscreen, gloves, hat, a snack, a trash bag or bucket, and wear closed-toed shoes. This is a great activity for families with children. Children 18 or under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Tuesday, May 2 to May 3: Lightweight Backpacking and Santa Fe Baldy. 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.
Tuesday, May 2 to Wednesday, May 3, Hovenweep Hopalong, Join the Rio Grande Chapter Military Outdoors Program as we hike and bike Hovenweep National Monument, a cluster of Ancestral Puebloan villages that are located on a stretch of land that intersects the Utah-Colorado border west of Cortez, Colorado. The magnificence of the archeological sites is matched by the grandeur of the landscape and vistas that stretch over canyons and mesas of the Colorado Plateau. We will rendezvous at the Visitors’ Center on May 2 and hike the Square Tower Unit, a 2-hour hike that will introduce us to the greatest complex of archeological sites in the monument. On May 3, we will rendezvous at the Visitors’ Center and begin a bike ride to many of the Monument outliers. This will be approximately 13 miles round trip with ample time for short hike to sites, snacking, picture taking and taking in the solitude and serenity of the area.
Friday, May 12: Relaxed Bosque Walk at Durand Open Space. 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Welcome to the beautiful South Valley! Durand Open Space provides excellent access to forest paths and river views. We’ll do a 2 mile loop and then take a break at the covered picnic area.
Friday, May 26: Las Conchas Trail Hike along the Jemez River East Fork. Join us for a dose of nature and camaraderie. 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. 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.
Friday, May 26: Bike Ride from Valle de Oro NWR to 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 7851 2nd St NW at 10:00 a.m. and bike a short distance to the Visitor’s Center to 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. You can purchase food and drinks of your choice and we’ll spend some exploring the Farm.
Saturday, May 27: More Migrating Birds Along Animas River in Farmington. This will be three miles round trip. Let’s follow up April’s birding trip, in the same location, to identify new arrivals and departures. Some birds will have moved on further north; others will have established a territory for nesting in these habitats. No dogs please.
Wednesday, May 31: Valles Caldera Spring Fling. The Rio Grande Chapter Military Outdoors Program is hosting a Spring hike in the spectacular Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP) on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. Participants will hike the Coyote Call and Rabbit Ridge Trails which are located along the southeastern rim of VCNP. This 5.3-mile hike will contour up the side of Rabbit Mountain with an elevation gain of 1701 feet over trails that are grassy, gravelly and rocky. As we ascend, we will enjoy magnificent views of the Valle Grande, sightings of wildlife and the beauty of the aspen/conifer forest. There are several vantage points for rest stops, all with stunning views. This hike will take approximately 4-5 hours depending on the pace. This will not be a “forced March”, rather an opportunity to see the landscape come alive with spring grandeur. The trailhead is at 8,714 feet and we will reach an elevation of 9,610 feet.
Saturday, June 3: Introduction to Land Navigation Course. 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. 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.
Saturday, June 17: ABQ-Santa Fe Rail & Bike Tour. See the “City Different” in a different way by exploring the River Trail on a bike! We will ride the Railrunner from Albuquerque or meet at the station in Santa Fe for a long day excursion. 8 to 18 miles depending on starting point, maximum 500 feet elevation gain. Trails in Santa Fe suitable for beginner bicyclists, route in Albuquerque recommend prior city riding experience. This ride is appropriate for children over the age of 16 when accompanied by parent or legal guardian. E-bikes are welcome.
Friday, June 23: Michael M. Emery Trail Hike for People That Don’t Hike. This is an easy hike with an elevation gain of 334 feet over a 2.5-mile loop. Good dogs on leash are welcome.
Saturday, June 24: Birds of High Summer Along Animas River in Farmington. This will be a three miles round trip along the river. On this third outing to explore birds along a major riparian habitat, we will discover the breeding residents of the area, and compare their abundance to the migrants viewed over the past two months. No dogs please.
Saturday, June 24: Leave No Trace Course. Maybe you’ve heard of Leave-No-Trace principles but have never had the opportunity to learn how to incorporate them into your outdoor adventures. Here’s your chance to learn from a certified LNT instructor. Meet at Elena Gallegos Double Shelter on the northeast side of the park loop. We’ll cover LNT principles and then take a short hike to discuss how to easily incorporate them into your outdoor activities. Suitable for children 12 and up.
May 2022 ICO hike with Big Brothers/Sisters of Santa Fe
May 2022 ICO hike with Santa Fe Youth Shelters