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Two revised trail guides get you outside but not too far from home

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — If you live in the Albuquerque area and you’re planning a day hike, a newly revised edition of a book can help you sharpen those plans.

It’s titled “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles – Albuquerque” by David Ryan and Stephen Ausherman. It’s a guide for hikes in multiple compass points with three levels of difficulty (easy, moderate, strenuous).

Geographically, the hikes are divided into five regions.

There are 13 hikes including La Luz Trail (one of six in the Sandias) in the Albuquerque area. There are nine hikes in the “East of the Mountains” section, including the Golden Open Space and the Cerro Blanco Trail in Fourth of July Canyon. In the Santa Fe area are 12 hikes, including Hyde Memorial State Park and the newly added Nambé Lake. The “Northwest of Albuquerque” section has 13 hikes, such as the Hoodoo Trail in the Ojito Wilderness and Valles Caldera National Preserve. Last is the “South and West of Albuquerque” region, with 13 hikes, among them the Sandstone Bluffs of El Malpais National Monument and the newly listed Cañada del Ojo.


Stephen Ausherman

The book gives hikers plentiful and detailed information to prepare for their outings. Here are the many categories of information – the hike distance and configuration, scenery, exposure (i.e. sun, shade), trail traffic, trail surface, hiking time, elevation gain, vegetation, access, maps, GPS trailhead coordinates, facilities, contact information, location, driving distance and directions, last-chance food/gas, and which trails are kid-friendly, dog-friendly, equine-friendly, mountain bike-friendly, and runner-friendly. (Ryan said he took two of his three dogs on trails where canines are allowed.)

David Ryan

To say this third edition is revised doesn’t tell the whole story. “One-third of the hikes are new, and the hikes retained from the earlier editions have been brought up to date,” Ryan said. “For example, there may be route changes because of new trails built by the Forest Service. Some of the hikes in previous editions were discontinued because access became too difficult. Forest fires may have made the landscape less desirable for a hike or private landowners closed access.”


A revised and expanded edition of another classic hiking book, Mike Coltrin’s “Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide,” is just out. UNM Press said in a news release that the edition has seven new trail descriptions, 24 “Family Friendly” outings for hikers of all ages and abilities, and “Safety First” suggestions for moderate-to-difficult trails.

Coltrin will discuss and sign the new edition of “Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide” at 3 p.m. April 14 at Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande NW; talk and sign at 6 p.m. April 23 at REI, 1550 Mercantile NE; he’ll make a presentation at 4 p.m. May 4 at Page 1 Books, 5850 Eubank NE, Mountain Run Shopping Center; and sign copies from 1-3 p.m. May 19 at Treasure House Books & Gifts, 2012 S. Plaza St. NW, Old Town.