Chick Keller leads a hike during the popular Hiking Los Alamos 101 series. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos is surrounded by beautiful hiking trails, but not everyone may feel comfortable exploring them on their own.
For that reason, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in collaboration with the County Recreation Department, held a summer series, Hiking Los Alamos 101, which aimed to make Los Alamos residents and visitors comfortable and confident about hiking on Los Alamos’s trails.
The series was wildly popular, prompting the two organizations to plan a similar series for the fall. Hiking Los Alamos 102 will begin with a classroom session at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26 at PEEC, followed by three hiking sessions Sept. 9, 16 and 23.
The material for Hiking Los Alamos 102 will build on what was covered in 101, though it is not a requirement to have taken the 101 series to sign up for 102.
The series will kick off with a classroom session led by local trail expert Craig Martin.
Martin will cover such topics as basic gear you might use for fall/winter hiking, confidence builders like having a sense of north and understanding the terrain, new hiking opportunities after the summer trail work season, and favorite Los Alamos routes and how to find out about them.
The classroom session will be followed by three hiking sessions, all at 5:30 p.m. Mondays.
Sept. 9, Dorothy Hoard will lead the group on a cultural history hike through Bayo Canyon. Many of the trails in Los Alamos were hand-built roads to homesteads on the mesas, and Hoard will help the group identify features that distinguish historic roads. The hike will be approximately two miles round trip. Hoard will also point out additional historic roads that participants can explore on their own.
Chick Keller will lead a Plant Hike Sept. 16. During this session, participants will hike from the Ski Hill to Cañada Bonito, about two miles, and will be able to see many late summer flowers including purple gentians.
Rounding out the series, local geologist Siobhan Niklasson will lead a hike Sept. 23 along the rim of White Rock Canyon, to introduce some of the volcanic, tectonic and erosional features that have helped shape the Pajarito Plateau’s breathtaking landscapes.
Participants can choose to take part in individual sessions, or they can sign up for the entire series. The cost is $5 per session, or $15 for all four. In addition to the discount, those who sign up for all four sessions will receive complimentary copies of the Sky Terrain Map, 50 Hikes in Los Alamos County, as well as eight new trailhead guides for trails in the Los Alamos area.