We spend so much time traveling to explore other places that I often forget what treasures we have right in our own backyard. After putting a lot of miles on our car the past two weeks of travel in Texas we weren’t in the mood for doing a hike that would involve hours of driving. The 10K Trail is easy to get to from town and high enough in elevation to get us out of Albuquerque’s expected 90-plus temperatures today. We have hiked there many times and, although any outing in the mountains is welcome, I wasn’t expecting anything special. But we hadn’t been on the trail for very long when I realized that, yes, as many times as we’ve been here, and as close to home as it is, this is a special place.
Usually we head north from the trailhead and climb up to the Del Agua overlook. Instead, I checked some maps and the Albuquerque Senior Center Hiking Group page to see what kind of hikes we could come up with if we went south. There was a nice 5 1/2 mile loop that followed 10K South to the intersection with the Tree Spring Trail where it then headed up to the Crest Trail to begin the loop back north. It took us past the Tram station and on two different side trails that we didn’t even know were there.
Normally, there would be crowds of people around the Tram station, but the Tram has not yet reopened. Except for some ongoing construction work it was deserted. There are a lot of trail access points everywhere in the Sandias for both hikers and bike riders. We encountered more people than we do on our usual getaway hikes but there is plenty of room in the outdoors to safely accommodate everyone.
There is just nothing that comes close to the refreshing sights and sounds of a mountain trail. And this one has the added benefit that it’s only a short drive back to town where we could make a stop for ice cream. We sure needed it since the temperature back here in the desert had reached 99 by the early afternoon when we finished our hike.