Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hiking the Pino Trail #140

This morning, my Saturday morning hiking group headed back to Elena Gallegos Open Space to hike the Pino Trail (#140).   This trail is very close to where I live in the foothills of Albuquerque.  The weather was warm and sunny and many hikers were on the trail.

I drive north from my house (red star)  a few miles on Tramway Blvd. to Simms Park Road, then a mile and a half east to Elena Gallegos Park

We park at the upper parking area where the Pino Trail begins

There is a map and trail guide here.  In a short distance, the trail crosses into Wilderness area and bikes are not allowed.

The trail starts out in wide open grass and cactus covered desert foothills.
The trail climbs along an arroyo and soon is shaded from pinon and juniper. 

The trees make for a cooler hike even in summer. Looking north toward the Sandia tram.

It's a lovely hike year-round.  Sometimes there is water in the arroyo but not today.  Lichen-covered rock along the trail.

Our group of four women and Hank the dog did 1 1/2 miles up in a little over an hour, then we turned around to go down.  When we have more time, perhaps we will go all the way to the Crest Trail (about 3 more miles up).

We left the parking area (PNOWP1) about 9:30AM. The trail is 4+ miles up with the last 2 miles much steeper.  It joins the Crest Trail at the summit.

 Today, the temperature in Albuquerque hit a record high for March, 81 degrees F.  Most of the snow in the Sandia Mountains has melted.  There are many trails throughout the Sandia mountains for every level of difficulty.  Here is a map and list of the the trails from the the Forestry Service that you can print.

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