PEEC: Explore Colorful Rock Specimens In Rio Puerco

PEEC and local geology enthusiast Patrick Rowe are leading a hike Saturday, April 7 in the Rio Puerco, near Los Lunas. Participants can expect to see a wide variety of colorful rock specimens along the way. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News: 

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) and geology enthusiast Patrick Rowe are hosting a special half-day hike Saturday, April 7 in the Rio Puerco near Los Lunas.

The group meets at 9 a.m. in Los Lunas. Space is limited, and registration is required.

The Rio Puerco is a tributary of the Rio Grande and carries rocks and sediments from formations that range in age from Precambrian to Quaternary. Expect to see a wide array of very colorful rock specimens, including red and yellow jasper, agate, petrified wood, striped quartzite, basalt, obsidian, gypsum, limestone with fossils and travertine.

Rowe is vice president of field trips for the Los Alamos Geological Society and a project engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His father was a geologist and he has been involved in rock collecting for more than 40 years and has been leading geologic field trips during the last few years for PEEC.

To attend this hike, register online at Attendance for individuals is $10 or $8 for PEEC members. The cost for families is $20 or $16 for members. This hike is free for children signed up for PEEC’s Pebble Pups program, though registration is still required.

Participants will meet at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of the Walmart Supercenter in Los Lunas and travel by caravan to the collection site. The group will return at noon to the meeting location. Participants should bring snacks, water, layered clothing, hiking shoes or boots and sunscreen.

For more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit, email or call 505.662.0460.

PEEC was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies. PEEC operates the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, holds regular programs and events, and hosts several interest groups from birding to hiking to butterfly watching. PEEC activities are open to everyone; however, members receive exclusive benefits such as discounts on programs and merchandise. Annual memberships start at $35. To learn more, visit

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