Monday, May 30, 2011

Hike to the Head of Whitewash Canyon

The South Foothills of the Sandia Mountains
I took another hike on Sunday, May 29, 2011, this time going by myself and starting at the far eastern end of Menaul Blvd. and taking what the guidebook calls the "Whitewash Trail" (which is sort of a misnomer inasmuch as it neither follows Whitewash [i.e., Piedra Lisa] Canyon nor is much of a trail).  I only intended to go as far as the first little promontory at the head of Whitewash Canyon, and I was able to ascend that high, although the weather was hot and the steepness of the route -- it gains 2,000' in elevation in two miles' horizontal distance -- had me huffing and puffing most of the way.  (The route passes through the site of a brush fire that happened a couple of months ago, which was reportedly caused by people lighting fireworks.)  The saving factor for me was the 25-30 mph wind that was blowing, which kept me pretty cool.  The map above shows both the route I took this week and the hike that Darren and I did last week to the "Eye of the Sandias."  (My next Sunday-afternoon hike will probably take me up Embudo Canyon, located in between my last two routes.)

Looking North
Looking South

[Update 6/6/11: I took a hike up Embudo Canyon yesterday afternoon. I started at the open space parking lot at the end of Indian School Rd. and hiked up past what I call "the narrows" into the wider eastern end of the canyon, turning around at the start of the rocky switchbacks that lead to the junction with the Three Gun Spring Trail. It was a pretty easy hike compared with the last two that I did, but "two miles up and two miles back" seems to be a pretty good length for a Sunday-afternoon hike.  I'll probably start moving north for additional hikes. Note that I have modified the attached illustration to add the Embudo Canyon route that I took yesterday.]