Gearing up for the Sandias

When we lived in New York City, we used to drive up to the Catskills and camp and hike on a regular basis. Once we moved there, however, it was a different story. I think we did only one hike – the Diamond Notch Trail – during our almost 8 years living in Olivebridge. Maybe it was because we had so much property right outside our door. Between our woods and the 2 adjacent parcels, there were over 100 acres to roam. The dogs and I created a nice loop of trails that I hope the new owners are enjoying as much as we did.

We’re determined to get back to hiking now that we are in New Mexico. The Sandia Mountains, which seem to me like silent sentinels watching over the hubbub of the Albuquerque area, beckon. Jen bought a couple of maps and hiking guides that we plan to work our way through. Our inaugural hike was a short one, a quick trip to the old Juan Tabo Cabin and back, a distance of about 1 mile. Here are some photos. It’s obvious that Maggie and Tessie had a great time.

Juan Tabo Cabin

Juan Tabo Cabin is a historic landmark at the western foot of the Sandias. It was headquarters for a Civilian Conservation Corps camp that included a number of buildings back in the 1930’s.


Why is it that Jen is always behind the camera?

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6 Responses to Gearing up for the Sandias

  1. Clea Danaan says:

    How are you liking the dryness? I’m from Seattle myself, and live in Denver now. In some ways I adore the dry, like when it snows. But I still ache for the coast at times. And gardening is different, both because it’s arid, and because the soil is so different. I look forward to hearing about your adventures in permaculture.


  2. Hi Clea,
    I love the dryness! I’m sure one of these days I’ll want to get some curl back in my hair, but for now I’m glad to have a break from the humid East Coast.

    The ocean is another story. Since we’ve only been here a short time, I’m not suffering from sand, sea and salty air withdrawal just yet. But I know that regular trips to the ocean are going to be a part of our routine!

    Gardening will be a whole new experience from both the East Coast and West Coast (where I’m from originally). Thankfully, I’ve made many new friends who can advise me as I get started. Permaculture techniques are definitely the way to go here.

    Thanks for your post! Keep in touch.

    Peace, Jen

  3. Michael says:

    I’m curious to know more about Juan Tabo Cabin and its CCC connection. Have you found out anything more about it? I especially like the photo lf the building and stairs. I’m affiliated with CCC Legacy and president of the local chapter of CCC Legacy in Phoenix.

  4. Hi Michael,

    I got the information from the Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide by Mike Coltrin. Workers lived in the CCC camp while contructing projects such as the La Cueva and Juan Tabo picnic grounds. That’s all I know. -Tree

  5. Scott says:

    Hello, very interesting website! We also recently moved to New Mexico (Albuquerque) for a variety of reasons (cost/climate/culture – not necessarily in that order) from Mexico, via San Francisco and Michigan. Love your goat photos!

    I arrived at your site via a google search for Sandia hiking maps & guides, and see that you’ve found some. Just wondering where you picked them up, and if you find them to be any good…

    Scott & Caroline

  6. Hey Scott and Caroline,

    So far, we’ve picked up 2 hiking books: Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide by Mike Coltrin which we purchased at Borders and 100 Hikes in New Mexico by Craig Martin which we ordered from Amazon. I really like the Sandia Mountain guide. It has good trail descriptions and comes with a nice topographical map that shows the trails detailed in the book. There is also a handy appendix that summarizes all of the trails in a table by difficulty, miles and elevation gain. We recently did the Eye of the Sandias hike which provides you with a great views of Tiejeras Canyon. I have yet to closely inspect 100 Hikes, but have it on hand for when we begin exploring the rest of the state.

    Also, if you are interested in the flora and fauna of the Sandias, I suggest you pick up a copy of the Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains edited by Robert Julyan and Mary Stuever. Happy hiking. -Tree

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