Pino Trail, New Mexico
(May 2, 2016)— Pino Trail —On this day, we woke up to large and low hanging clouds over the Sandia Mountains, which brought in a fresh but light layer of snow and chilly air- you know, the type you feel in your cheeks and breath, but not deep down to your bones. There was no wind, making the walk quiet and still, allowing us to enjoy the songs of Canyon Towhee and Mountain Chickadee.
Pino Trail isn’t like the usual on which we venture but it was nice nonetheless; it’s an easy-level trek, although you’ll see it listed on forestry websites as “moderate”. The trail itself is located directly in the Sandia foothills and is made of gravel and is in good condition with visible markings to keep you on route and away from revegetation efforts. Most of Pino Trail is also under shade, with large Mesquite trees and Alligator Juniper, which as I’ve mentioned in nearly every post thus far, offer enticing and incredible smells. I swear I’ll never tire of New Mexico wilderness aromas.
Probably the most impressive aspect of the Pino Trail, however, is the engulfing Sandias and their great views. Because of high desert altitudes, we aren’t affected by air pollutants as much as other cities (say for example, Chicago or New York) therefore the colors and features of distant objects and landscapes are unusually detailed.
If you’re the type that enjoys the flavor of wilderness freedom, unobscured by forestry prohibited zones and other mandated restrictions, then Pino Trail is probably not for you. Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful and worthy hike to spend a sprinkling and cool Sunday. If you’re the type that enjoys more rigorous hikes with vertical trails that require nearly all fours for traction- then the famed Sandia La Luz trail is the one for you. But! You’ll have to check back later for my tidbit on that.