2010-08-28 35 -106
Steeply sloped pinon-juniper forest about a mile up Bear Canyon on the west side of Sandia Peak.
I was planning a hike in another part of Sandia for today, but my buddy had to cancel so I decided to head somewhere I hadn't been before and find the hash. Finding the spot looked straightforward enough, although I knew that the mouth of Bear Canyon was private property held by the Albuquerque Academy, so it wasn't quite going to be a simple stroll up the canyon. Ah well...let's give it a go.
I wanted to spend time with the family today, so I set the alarm to get up and undertake my expedition early. I got out of the house around 5:30, and was on the trail at the Michel Emery trailhead just before 6a. I took the trails around past the entrance to Bear Canyon, then struck off up the hillside. I was making fairly good progress through the aggressive plants and rough terrain until I started hitting the bigger boulders about 3/4 mile from the hash. I did find an awesome big scorpion that I got a couple of pictures of. Other wildlife encountered included a deer and a bunch of curious hummingbirds. The flora was much less friendly, though--I was being awfully careful, but a few chollas managed to get me anyway. If you notice the long pause on the GPS track, that's where I stopped to pull cholla spines out of my legs. I was feeling pretty good about my progress until I got a quarter mile away from the hash and found another small canyon in my way that I had to go down and up again. I really need to read those topo maps a little closer... Anyway, I finally made it there and got my pictures. I was a little smarter on the trip back and headed up to the top and down again, avoiding much of the roughest going. Whew! So much for a quick and easy hash...gotta remember that bushwhacking is NEVER as easy as it looks.
The track is located here.