Chamisa Trail hike

If you do something twice, does that make it a tradition? For Memorial Day, we went on a hike. Our copy of Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area rates Chamisa Trail "easy." And I suppose, as far as technical aspects go, it's a straightforward hike. But lordy, it was a lot of uphill. I shouldn't have been surprised, it was up in the Sangres.

We parked at the trailhead on Hyde Park Road — the route up to the ski basin — not too far out of town, and set out. Or rather, up. The guide describes the beginning of this hike as "climb[ing] sharply." Heh. It is to laugh. That is, if I could breathe. Here's the part descibed as "narrow... along a steep dugway." Well, they got that right. Don't look down!

The trail starts at about 7800 feet, goes up to a midpoint where several trails intersect (8500 feet), then back down to 7900 feet at our destination — a meadow by Tesuque Creek. Here's the laminated-map-on-a-post that was at the midpoint. I've highlighted our hike in yellow:

The meadow at the end was quite nice, with wild iris and something that looked like yellow lupine. We sat by Tesuque Creek and had lunch. [click top 3 pix for larger]


We took an alternate route back from the midpoint (highlighted in green), which was more of a straight downhill, following the drainage contour, rather than switchbacking like the first part. At the end, where the trail opened out, were the first — and only — chamisa bushes we saw on the whole trail. Round trip, just shy of 5 miles.

Steaks for dinner.

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