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.