After a 16-month hiatus, the Rio Grande Chapter will once again be offering hikes, walks and tours beginning July 5th. The Sierra Club National Outings office has given us the green-light to restart one of our most popular programs. Many of you have been hiking on your own or with small groups of friends to help you get through the pandemic, but now you’ll be able to join us for fun and inspiring outings once again. Hiking has been at the heart of Sierra Club’s programs since the club’s founding in 1892 and has attracted tens of thousands of members over the ensuing years. In fact, the Rio Grande Chapter conducted nearly 70 outings that attracted more than 400 participants in 2019. These outings introduced many of you to nature and to Sierra Club’s mission for the first time.
To ensure your safety, outings leaders around the U.S. have been field testing protocols and those recommendations are being collected and refined while also incorporating CDC guidance. Here are some of the protocols we’ll be following:
- Day trips and local outings resumed July 5! This includes ICO and Military Outdoors outings.
- Multi-day and outings with significant indoor components such as lodge or hut trips resumed at a reduced rate July 5 and will slowly reopen.
- Masks will be recommended during day trips and local outings, but not required.
- There is currently no proof of vaccination or Covid test requirement for participants when the activities are conducted outside and social distance can be maintained.
- For a contactless experience we’ll strongly encourage signup and participant waiver completion online in advance of every outing. A link will be provided for the sign-up location in the outings listings.
Saturday July 24: Rocky Mountain Wildflower Walk. We’ll take the Crater Lake Trail, 40 miles north of Durango, Colo., and 10 miles south of Silverton, Colo. This wildflower identification outing will be led by Al Schneider, the Four Corners’ premier authority on Rocky Mountain flora, and Hart Pierce, Rio Grande Chapter outings leader. Schneider has authored many guides and an app (Colorado Rocky Mountain Wildflowers) that are superior resources for seeking and identifying native mountain flora. Access his website, swcoloradowildflowers.com, for info. This outing will be 2-4 miles round trip beginning at an elevation of 10,700 feet. with an elevation gain of 500 feet. No dogs please. Participants 18 years of age and over. Appropriate Covid-19 precautions will be taken. Leader will provide recommended gear and apparel list in advance. Contact the leader if you have questions.
Trip Leader: Hart Pierce, email@example.com, 505-320-1055
Location: Silverton, CO
Register for this outing by July 19
Saturday, August 14: Sandia Crest Trail hike. If you’ve never hiked in the Sandias this is an excellent way to see what you’ve been missing. If you’ve spent a lot of time in the Sandias, this is another opportunity to enjoy this special place. This three-hour long outing is approximately 3 miles roundtrip with 250 feet of elevation gain. Meet at Sandia Crest parking lot at the upper terminus of NM536 at 8:45 a.m. We’ll proceed along the crest trail with several stops to enjoy stunning views all the way to the continental divide. We’ll cover tips for safely hiking in the mountains, view wildflowers, and take a break at the upper tram station. Sponsored by the Military Outdoors Program and everyone is welcome. Appropriate for children over 12 with parent or legal guardian. Appropriate Covid-19 precautions will be taken. No dogs, please. Register at the link below by Aug. 12. Contact the leader if you have questions.
Trip Leader: Terry Owen, 505-301-4349, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Albuquerque, off NM536 (Sandia Crest Scenic Byway)
Register for this outing before August 12
Saturday, August 28: San Pedro Parks Wilderness hike. We will hike the San Pedro Parks Wilderness as it eases into autumn. San Pedro Parks Wilderness is in the Jemez Mountains northeast of Cuba, NM. Meet at 9 a.m. This out-and-back hike will begin at the Las Vacas Trailhead near San Gregorio Lake and proceed to its intersection with the Anastacio Trail and return. The trail will take us through gently rolling terrain surrounded by Ponderosa, oak and aspen, with many “ritos” and wetlands, which host a variety of mountain flora and fauna. The average elevation of San Pedro Parks is 10,000 feet. The 8-mile hike will take about 4 hours. No dogs please. Participants 18 years of age and over. Appropriate Covid-19 precautions will be taken. Register at the link provided by Aug. 23. Leader will provide recommended gear and apparel list in advance. Contact the listed leader if you have questions.
Trip Leader: Hart Pierce, email@example.com, 505-320-1055
Location: Coyote, NM
Register for this outing by August 23
Saturday, September 4: Mountain Hiking and Blissful Yoga, we’ll meet at the trailhead at 10:00 a.m. 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 2.5 mile hike that incorporates a one hour outdoor yoga and mindfulness break midway. Includes 200 feet of elevation gain and amazing views of the mountains. Sponsored by the Sierra Club Military Outdoors Program and everyone is welcome. Limited to 15 participants, and children over the age of 12 are welcome when accompanied by parent or legal guardian. To preserve the solitude of the occasion only certified service dogs meeting ADA guidance will be permitted. Appropriate Covid protocols will be followed.
Trip Leaders: Terry Owen, 505-301-4349, firstname.lastname@example.org; Mary Froment, email@example.com
Location: Albuquerque east mountains
Register for this outing before September 1
Friday, September 17: Tree Spring Trail Hike. This hike is a 3.7-mile out-and-back trail and 944 feet of elevation gain. A great hike with shade on most of the trail and a scenic view at the top—great for a food break so bring a lunch or snack. Please still be prepared with a hat and plenty of water! This is a gentle incline, smooth packed trail and easy rocky areas. We will meet at the Tree Springs Trailhead Parking lot at 8 a.m. Appropriate Covid-19 precautions will be taken. Register at the link provided by Sept. 15. Contact the trip leader if you have questions.
Trip Leaders: Ken and Diane Reese, DianeAbqNM@gmail.com, 505-507-6416; firstname.lastname@example.org, 505-966-6676
Location: Albuquerque, off NM536 (Sandia Crest Scenic Byway).
Register for this outing by September 15
Featured image: Steve Rice, a recent addition to our outings team, looks through Los Alamos Arch as he scouts hikes with Northern New Mexico Outings Chair Alan Shapiro. Photo by Alan Shapiro.