Los Alamos, Rio Grande Canyon Field Trip

Led by Chick Keller, this hike is about three miles round trip but drops some 900 ft. into White Rock Canyon. The trail is steep and can be hard on people’s knees; many prefer bringing hiking sticks. The hike out will have several rest stops especially to view some spectacular petroglyphs of animals, birds, snakes and a mountain lion.

Flora of White Rock Canyon is in some respects unique for this area, including normal plants and a number from farther south. One species of particular interest is stream orchid, Epipactis gigantea. Many bloom at the Pajarito Spring. Other species include spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentals), mulberry (Morus alba), Erigeron bellidiastrum, a number of Daleas—lanata, jamesii, nana, etc., and if we are lucky Calochortus nuttilii, and Delphinium wootonii.  Cactus will include, Echinocereus fendleri, viridiflorus, triglocidiatus and coccineus, Coryphantha vivipara and others. There should be monkey flowers and water cress in the stream. A plant list will be provided with page numbers from Ivey 5th Ed.

It can be quite warm in the sun, so bring sun protection, lunch, plenty of water and snacks. Wear hiking boots or at least sturdy shoes. Meet at Far North Shopping Center (7:30am) at San Mateo and Academy. Park behind Wienerschnitzel, or meet at White Rock parking at 9:00 pm. Return time to parking lot about 2:00 pm.