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Winter Hikes near Albuquerque?
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Will Tatman
Winter Hikes near Albuquerque? on 11/12/2012 00:51:05 MST Print View

There's a low of 18 tonight and I think my season of heading up into the mountains is over for now. I've always told other people outside the SW that what's great about hiking here is the ability to follow the terrain with the seasons.... Having said that, I've neglected the lower, desert paths in favor of mountains recently.

Looking for a good 2-3 day backpacking trip within a few hours of Albuquerque, hopefully something friends with only a three season sleeping rig can tag along on. Suggestions?

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Winter Hikes near Albuquerque? on 11/12/2012 04:56:54 MST Print View

The Pecos, San Pedros, and Manzanos will likely get much snow. The lower elevations of the eastern Gila, Black Range (Aldo Leopold), and Apache Kid would normally drop into the teens for 3-season gear. Just beware the cold front which can take overnight temps to zero or below (been there .... brrrrr).

Will Tatman
Good input on 11/14/2012 16:40:08 MST Print View

Thanks for the reply. I realized re-reading my post that I wrote sleepily and was unclear. I brushed through some of those places when I hiked the GET. I bet they'd be getting mighty cold soon.

Seems like most New Mexicans have some secret winter spots they like for desert hiking. I've heard people talking of canyons west of ABQ or desert hills near Las Cruces. Looking for lower, warmer hikes or routes, but it seems like most of that stuff is BLM or state land and less likely to have any legitimate trail maps.

Any other suggestions (I know there's a few more NM folks on here)?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Good input on 11/14/2012 20:42:36 MST Print View

"Any other suggestions (I know there's a few more NM folks on here)?"

Well I haven't done much hiking in NM. I would just get a big map and find a place. That's how I explore new places.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Winter Hikes near Albuquerque on 11/14/2012 20:56:16 MST Print View

How about the Wild Rivers area of the Rio Grande Gorge? I loved going there in the fall as a kid. I think there is apretty good trail system, and springs all up and down the river. Good place to catch a nice brown trout too. Time it right, it might not be too cold. Only other idea might be Guadelupe Mountains National Park.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Winter Hikes (sorta) near Albuquerque? on 11/14/2012 21:03:16 MST Print View

Will: I based my response on driving within a few hours of Albuquerque, since it takes about 3 hours on I-25 to get to Las Cruces.

There are some low-mileage backpacking areas in the immediate vicinity of Las Cruces like Aguirre Springs, or the long Sierra Vista trail (goes through some development though). Maybe Eugene or someone else has backpacked them to give you some idea of teh issues (I've only dayhiked or biked them).

With a couple more hours, there's the "bootheel" around Animas (the Mexican terminals of the CDT) or a little further the Peloncillos - border patrol will probably scout you out, but it's not a big problem. I went with 3-season gear and there was water in the Peloncillos (but that was 2007). Also the Southeast part of the Lincoln near Carlsbad for "Last Chance Canyon", "Rattlesnake Canyon", etc I've done with 3-season gear, .... plus the Guads. I've seen some pictures of backpacking after a snow south of I-10 (Deming to Lordsburg), so that could augment drinking water. Watch the property boundaries though.

Add that anything to the east controlled by White Sands and Ft. Bliss needs to be avoided as the military police have sensors all over the place.

Edited by hknewman on 11/14/2012 21:23:27 MST.