Hamilton Mesa Backpack, Pecos Wilderness, New Mexico:
Less Traveled Trails enjoyed introducing a father-son duo to backpacking in the Pecos Wilderness, hiking in about four miles for an overnight stay. Despite the usual monsoon rains, we stayed relatively dry, with nice views in between storms of the Pecos Baldy and Truchas peaks. Driving from Santa Fe to the village of Pecos, we entered the Santa Fe National Forest on the scenic road along the Pecos River. We started hiking at the Iron Gate Campground trailhead, with each of our packs at about 30 pounds. Storms greeted us as we arrived at the first meadow at mid-day and then again in the evening at our campsite. Our camp at about 10,000 feet overlooked a nice meadow on the westerly flank of Hamilton Mesa, just below the junction of Larkspur and Hamilton Mesa Trails. Two rainflies, tents, and personal raingear were invaluable on this backpack, to keep us warm and dry.
Anasazi Backpack, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico:
Our goal: to admire and honor The Shrine of the Stone Lions, a special spiritual place of the pueblos that goes back in time to the Anasazi people. This two-day backpack was 16 miles roundtrip, out and back along the Mid-Alamo Trail. Starting at Monument Headquarters in Frijoles Canyon, we hiked to the Shrine and then to Capulin Canyon to make our overnight camp. The weather turned out to be quite pleasant for this late October trip. Although the Las Conchas fire devastated Capulin Canyon in 2011, ground cover is making a comeback along this essential water source in the dry Bandelier backcountry.
Jack’s Creek Backpack, Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico:
Our destination on this three-day backpack was Pecos Baldy Lake in the middle of the Pecos Wilderness. From the trailhead at Jack’s Creek campground, the four of us were soon taking Trail #257 through meadows and aspen groves, enjoying views of the mountain peaks. After four miles our trail paralleled Jack’s Creek and we set up camp next to a small meadow for two nights. Experiencing typical August weather with monsoon rains, we kept dry with a good tent and rain gear, rain flies at the ready. On our layover day we continued up the trail to the lake. Undergrowth was coming back to a stretch of the trail that had seen the Jaroso Fire of 2013. Joining the Skyline Trail (#251), we made it to Pecos Baldy Lake just before a thunderstorm. Once it was over, we came out from under our rain fly and took a leisurely stroll around the lake. Before turning back to camp, we took the Skyline Trail a little further to view the south end of Trailriders Wall.
Grand Canyon Backpack, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona:
Private outing, five days, March 2016. Lead organizer for four backpackers hiking the Tonto Trail and South Kaibab Trail, Grandview to Bright Angel Campground to South Rim. Approximately 42 miles, one-way. Provided permit coordination, route finding, and natural resource interpretation.
Continental Divide Trail Backpack, Carson and Santa Fe National Forests, New Mexico:
Sierra Club Outings Program, seven days, September 2014. Chief guide for five backpackers hiking an alternate CDT route through Ghost Ranch. Approximately 35 miles, one-way. Provided participant screening, trip administration, route finding, food, water treatment, shuttle transportation, natural resource interpretation, and historical background.
Continental Divide Trail Backpack, Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico:
Southwest Explorations Program, Santa Fe Community College, two days, April 2014. Chief guide for three backpackers hiking the CDT in the Chama River Canyon Wilderness. Approximately 8 miles, round-trip. Provided classroom training, trip administration, route finding, food, water treatment, shuttle transportation, natural resource interpretation, and historical background.
Day Hikes, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico:
Commercial day outings, year-round. Guide hikers on scenic trails in the main Frijoles Canyon area. Approximately 6 miles round trip. Provide route finding, food, water, natural resource interpretation, and historical background.
Day Hikes, Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico:
Commercial day outings, May-October. Guide hikers on scenic trails into the Pecos Wilderness. Approximately 6 miles round trip. Provide route finding, food, water, natural resource interpretation, and historical background.
Snowshoeing, Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico:
Commercial day outings, December-March. Guide snowshoers on scenic trails in the national forest. Approximately 3 miles round trip. Provide snowshoe technique training, route finding, food, water, natural resource interpretation, and historical background.
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