Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hiking Embudo Trail (#193) in Albuquerque Foothills

With my Saturday morning hiking group, I continue to learn the trails on the west side of the Sandia mountains.  We hiked the Embudo (Spanish for "funnel") Trail in the Sandia Foothills Open Space last Saturday.

It was a beautiful, sunny day with temperatures in the high 40's as we started out shortly after 9AM.  Still too early for wildflowers.  This trail starts at the east end of Indian School Rd. NE in Albuquerque where there is a large parking area.  There are three trails here, #401, #365 and #193.  We took the trail due east which goes to the Embudo Dam where a gate and a marker indicate the Embudo Trail, #193 but there are no signs with a map or trail guide. This fence does mark the Cibola National Forest Wilderness area so no bicycles are allowed after this point. If you hike this trail to the top, it is over 6 miles in and out.   We were less ambitious and hiked 2.5 miles in and out to about 7000 ft., just below the juniper and pinon tree line.

The trail begins as a wide sandy high desert wash and narrows down to a rocky arroyo with Embudo Creek seeping downward along its rocky path.  There are willows and cottonwoods, still bare, along the creek so I think this provides a shady respite to summer hikers.

Looking west toward Albuquerque near the beginning of the trail

It's easy to get off-trail when you reach the narrow canyon and the rocks can be difficult to hike on.  

Here I am scrambling the boulders in the arroyo (picture by Susan Moore)

Rocks are quite smooth and therefore slick here

A little water was seen in the creek bed
Hank needed a push up the rocks every once and a while

Large cottonwoods along the creek

Large rock formations on each side of the funnel canyon

Nice granite

The lower arroyo

Heading home

Five of us and Hank, the dog, hiked this time:


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