Pino Canyon - Rain or Shine

Pino Canyon is a popular hiking trail on the west side of the Sandia Mountains.
It starts from the Ellana Gallegoes Open Space.
This trail is in the Wilderness, so hiking or horses only.
The map and tracklog can be downloadeds at the end of this page.

This trail starts in the foothills and goes to the top of the Sandia crest line.

Here's the perspective looking across Albuquerque viewing all of the Sandias.

Once you leave the Open Space, you will be in trees much of the way.  You start in the pinon,juniper zone and will progress through ponderosa pines and finally spruce and fir. There are a few aspens  in one area and you will see Wafer Ash.

Gamble's Oak is prevelant the whole way and gets very thick near the top of the mountain. You'll also see manzanita, apache plume, fenndler bush, snowberry and other brush.

The trail is wide at the bottom , but narrows down the further you get up the mountain. Most of the trail is fairly smooth, but you do want shoes with good traction. The decomposed granite surface can be slippery.

These photos where taken on two different trips. One was in late August with is threatening to rain most of the day
The other was a very hot, almost clear day in early July.

Bluebells, penstemon and columbine


globe mallow

The trail goes through many of these "tunnels".

They are wonderful when it is dry, but can get you pretty wet after or during a rain.

Always go prepared for bad weather in the Sandias. Conditions can change quickly.

As a bare minimum, carry a plastic trash bag with you. If you get caught in the rain, cut or tear a whole just big enough to get your head through. Put it over you and hunker down under a dense tree. Make sure it isn't the tallest tree around. You can get your knees inside the bag and stay pretty dry and warm.  Most rain storms don't last very long. I prefer to hunker down and stay dry, as opposed to keep hiking and getting soaked. If it's late in the day, you may not have any choice, but to keep going if you intend to get out before dark.

Jacob's Ladder

Sky Rocket or Scarlet Gilia

A view of Albuquerque  -  Mount Taylor is on the horizon

The saddle on the crestline is the top of Tree Springs Trail.


The trail switchbacks up through the trees in the center to that saddle.

Fendler Bush

 Scarlet Penstemon

Indian Paint Brush
The trail levels out for a bit.

Perry Lousewart

Almost there
 PinoTrail meets the Crest Trail #130
A few feet south is Cienega Trail
On the way back down

The switchbacks were through the spruce and fir in the center.
small grove of aspens

ridge to the south

violets - these are edible if you need some survival food


The crestline north of Tree Springs Trail

Cholla bud

Rain or shine this is a pretty awesome hike.

You can't get enough of these views.

You will want to come back again and again.

Click map for larger image.

Download tracklog.   Choose .kml to be displayed in Google Earth or .gpx for uploading to your GPS receiver.
The file will display as text.  Just save it and then you can use it.

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