Spring is here! Head outdoors with us!

Thanks to the energetic volunteerism of many long-time leaders and a couple of new ones, the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club is pleased to offer you the following fantastic smorgasbord of hikes and other outings, completely free and open to the public.

Please note that, new this quarter, we’re offering several weekday morning and evening hikes in Santa Fe. Continuation of these depends on your participation, so please try one out and return often if you like it. 

To go you’ll need to sign a waiver that the leader will provide. Dogs only allowed as noted. Trips are normally FREE (pay when carpooling) and open to non-members (spread the word!), though we do like it if you join the Club to increase our local and national clout. Please contact the leader when planning to attend to confirm details and so you can be contacted should plans change. You can also see a calendar view of our outings here.


Tuesday, April 26 (recurring weekly, day as posted): Ascent to the Alpine Meadows above the Ski Basin. This is intended as a weekly burst of 90 minutes ascending 2,000 vertical feet, with a variety of scenic rewards at the top. Some weeks we will just go to Deception Peak, sometimes to Lake Peak, and when time permits we may descend Ravens Ridge or to Puerto Nambé and return via the Winsor Trail. This is by far the quickest route above timberline in our area, passing by rushing water for almost the entire hike. Like a trip to the Northern Rockies but in half a day, and get in shape for longer climbs! 8:30 a.m. departure from De Vargas Mall; meet behind Albertsons (west side). Most times we will be back in time for a late lunch, which may happen too.  Can RSVP on our Meetup site or email Mark Dunham at medunham2@msn.com to confirm, or call (505) 795-0199 near event time.


Thursday and Friday, June 2 and 3: Carcamp at Turkey Run in Gila National Forest just north of the Aldo Leopold Wilderness. Day hikes into the wilderness including down into Diamond Creek and up to the Continental Divide Trail. Paul Pierce, (505) 670-7653.

Saturday, June 4: Advanced moderate but exploratory hike on the Rio Medio below Pecos Baldy. This will be a chance to explore the Santa Fe National Forest’s preferred west-side accesses from Borrego Mesa trailheads, with the adjustable goal of reaching Brazos Cabin if we feel so motivated. It will not be a marathon, but instead an exploration and investigation, joint with Santa Fe Hiking Meetup and hopefully with Santa Fe National Forest district rangers. This is a beautiful and lush part of the Sangres that is less traveled by Santa Feans and opens the door to many fine hikes that the rangers have been promoting. Read ahead in the Sierra Club’s Day Hikes book under No. 43, Brazos Cabin. Dogs allowed case by case. Celebrate National Trails Day! Mark Dunham, medunham2@msn.com or (505) 795-0199.

Sunday, June 5: Moderate loop hike off the Chamisa Trail, not far from town. About 9 miles, 2,400 feet of gain. Aku, (505) 577-2594.

Tuesday, June 7: Weekly Tuesday Workout, see April 26 description.

Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12: Moderate backpack to Santa Fe Baldy. Cut this 14-mile day hike down to a more manageable size with an overnight at Puerto Nambé. Alan Shapiro, nm5s@yahoo.com, (505) 424-9242.  (Date may change)

Saturday, June 11: Cienega Canyon and Pino Trail. Strenuous hike of about 8 miles and 1,800 feet of gain on steep and bad trail, then go down 2,700 feet. Meet at 8:30 a.m. for carpool, or 9:30 a.m. at trailhead. Finish outing with optional potluck. Email odile@pitot.org and also call (505) 433-4692 by June 9.

Sunday, June 12: Moderate hike to Hamilton Mesa. About 8 miles, 1,000 feet. High-clearance vehicles needed; if you can bring one, please advise leader when you call. Michael Goldey, (505) 820-7302, m.goldey@mindspring.com.

Tuesday, June 14: Weekly Tuesday Workout, see April 26 description.

Wednesday, June 15: Moderate but fast-paced evening hike, max of 3-5 miles and 1,500 feet of gain in Hyde Park or higher. Meeting in Fort Marcy area at 5 p.m., usually back by 8 p.m, and one to two dogs OK. Leader Robert Reifel; email rdrsantafe@gmail.com to provide your phone number and I’ll get back to you with meet details.

Saturday, June 18 (was June 26): Moderate hike to Santa Barbara West Fork, 9-10 miles, 1,000-foot elevation gain. Beautiful hike through mountain meadows along the Rio Santa Barbara, lots of wildflowers, plus great views of Chimayosos Peak. Limit of 8, now FULL; contact leader to be put on a wait list. Daisy Levine, please email tiadora1@gmail.com and provide your phone number.

Saturday, June 18: Strenuous and partly off-trail hike to Jicarita Peak, one of New Mexico’s highest at 12,835 feet. Starting at Santa Barbara Campground, we’ll go up the Middle Fork trail to the “switchbacks” and then head off-trail along the West Ridge of Jicarita Peak to the summit. Our return will be via the Serpent Lake, East Fork, and Middle Fork trails. About 16 miles and 4,000 feet of elevation gain. Early start. Two or three dogs OK. Larry, lorenz.hughes@gmail.com or (505) 913-0589.

Saturday, June 18: Santa Fe River Cleanup. 9-11 a.m. Meet at Closson Street Footbridge by 9 a.m. Bring work gloves; rubber boots helpful if recent rains. Leader will supply trash bags. Contact leader if attending. Kathleen Davis, (505) 795-3286 or kdav40@gmail.com.

Sunday, June 19: Moderate hike on Dockwiller Trail, 8 miles and 1,700-foot gain. Wildflowers are normally great at this time, and new leader Ken Collins knows a lot of their names. Come support him! (505) 455-7107.

Tuesday, June 21: Weekly Tuesday Workout, see April 26 description.

Postponed to July 23-24: Strenuous one-night backpack to Kit Carson Peak

Saturday, June 25: Strenuous hike on Gold Hill Loop above Taos in newly designated Columbine Hondo Wilderness. Up Long Canyon, off-trail along spectacular, wide ridge above treeline, return on Gavilan Trail if weather permits (otherwise BOTW trail). About 11 miles, 3,500-foot elevation gain, 12,711-foot summit, early start, two or three dogs OK. Tobin Oruch, (505) 690-6253, tobin.oruch@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, June 28: Weekly Tuesday Workout, see April 26 description.


July 23-24: Strenuous one-night backpack to Kit Carson Peak (14,194 feet) near Alamosa, Colo. In order to tame this legendary mountain a bit, we will drive up Saturday and walk in 6 miles, gaining 2,700 feet, to beautiful Willow Lake. Think light pack, not a massive scene, as we will eat an early dinner in Alamosa on the way up. After our bivouac at the Lake, we arise with a quick breakfast and proceed 2.8 miles and 2,500 more feet to the summit of Challenger Point. Some can stay there or at the lake if desired, but the game can then proceed another 1.4 miles and 1,000 feet of roundtrip elevation on the ledges that access the main summit. The route remains Class 3 or less the entire way, but affords scenery normally only seen by technical climbers, including the famous Prow. We will then descend to the car, find dinner in Crestone or Alamosa, and come home. Mark Dunham, medunham2@msn.com or (505) 795-0199.

Spring is here! Head outdoors with us!