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Sandia Peak Exploratory - Rozamiento Canyon - Difficult

The plan is to hike/scramble up Rozamiento Canyon, the first canyon north of the tram, and look for a route around the Thumb: behind it on the south or north, dropping into La Cueva Canyon and hiking off-trail past the La Luz Mine to Sandia Crest. I hiked up Rozamiento Canyon years ago and had to turn around due to snow. However, I am somewhat familiar with the lower area where you have to scramble up large granite friction slabs that line the bottom of this canyon. The hike is exploratory with the goal of making it to Sandia Crest, where you can hike or take the tram back down. Be prepared for anything including bushwhacking in unfriendly brush, rock scrambling with exposure, loose terrain, and very steep pitches. 

Hike Stats: 4-6 off-trail miles (if you take the tram down) with close to 4,000 feet of elevation gain. Despite the low mileage, plan on a full day of hiking.

Challenges: Off-trail hiking, bushwhacking, cactus dodging, scrambling (non-technical climbing without protection using hand and foot holds), and route-finding.

Unfriendly plants: New Mexico Locust, Wild Rose, Wild berries, Chokecherry, Yucca, Prickly Pear, and Cholla.

Dangers: Hiking and scrambling has inherent dangers that could result in serious injuries or even death. Dangers on this hike include rockfall, ice, slipping, and falling.

Hiking requirements: Fit hikers who are confident, comfortable, and have experience with heights and exposure, steep and loose terrain, rock scrambling, and hiking off-trail.

Equipment needed: Shoes with good tread are mandatory; if we get some snow on the mountain, a traction aide is too. I would not recommend wearing expensive flimsy clothing as it tears easily. Poles, leather gloves (garden type), and a good attitude are recommended. 


Make sure to check the website Saturday evening for any updates or cancellations.



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  • Eric B.

    Loved the bedrock (slick rock?) along the canyon. Good group to explore the route over to La Cueva canyon.

    November 17, 2013

  • Doug F.

    Great day, canyon, scenery, and route. Really enjoyed exploring Rozamiento Canyon and the company who joined me!

    November 17, 2013

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