Pre- and Post-Conference Field Trips

Field trips will occur both before and after the National Wilderness Conference and will vary in length, scope, topic, and intensity. The following is a tentative listing of available field trips. Unless specified, transportation to and from the Hyatt Regency is provided for all field trips.

Field TripDescriptionDate(s)TimeMaximum Number of ParticipantsCost
Wilderness Ranger WeekHave you ever wondered what it would be like to be a Wilderness Ranger working for the Forest Service? Here's your chance to find out, all while experiencing some of the most remote wildlands in southwestern New Mexico, as well as giving back to the land by performing several tasks. This field trip, in partnership with the Forest Service, involves performing various field work projects in the heart of the Blue Range Wilderness. Participants will meet at Pueblo Park Campground on the north side of the Blue Range Wilderness and are responsible for all of their own transportation, gear, food and water. The Forest Service will be providing pack-mules to haul in all participants' gear. Sponsor: Forest Service and New Mexico Wilderness Alliance10/5-10/10Leave noon; return noon7$20
Fire in the Gila Hiking TripThis is a car camping and hiking trip to the Gila Wilderness to discuss the past and future of wilderness fire management. The Gila is the ideal landscape fire laboratory with a 40 year legacy. Participants will receive an overview of the history and ecology of fire across different spatial and temporal scales. Then participants will visit areas where they could observe and discuss wilderness fire issues including fire suppression strategies, post-fire management options, fire history, and ecology. Participants are expected to be self-sufficient and therefore responsible for their own food, camping gear and appropriate attire. Sponsor: Forest Service10/9-10/14Leave 9am; return 5pm20FREE
Backpacking into the Pecos WildernessField trip participants will backpack up the west fork of Rio Santa Barbara, following beaver ponds into a basin where we will camp beneath majestic Trampas and Truchas peaks. Depending on the interests of the group, we can fish in the creek, climb the peaks, and do some dutch oven cooking over an open fire. You can see the Milky Way at night, and listen to the sound of wilderness. Participants will need good walking shoes, a good backpack, sleeping bag, and a tent. Bring your own food, and plan on rain and cool evenings.This is a long hike at 9000 feet (3000m) elevation, over six miles in. Inexperienced backpackers are welcome, but must carry their own gear. If you need to borrow gear, contact trip leader Doug Chinn, dougbike@comcast.net, 505-948-1154. We will leave from the Santa Barbara Campground, near Taos, at 10am the first day. Participants are required to provide transportation to that location, however, please contact Doug Chinn to arrange carpooling, if desired. Sponsor: New Mexico Wilderness Alliance10/10-10/12Leave 10am; return 4pm10$50
Rio Grande Lower Gorge Full Day RaftingSpend a full day rafting on the river in the spectacular Rio Grande Gorge, with walls rising to 1,500 feet. The morning is the gentle Orilla Verde section, flanked by green meadows. It's mellow and peaceful, the perfect introduction to the gorgeous Rio Grande Gorge. After a riverside lunch, we head into the rollercoaster Class 3 rapids of the Racecourse. An excellent trip for those who want to experience the thrill of whitewater, but ease gradually into it. After a morning getting comfortable with the paddle in your hand, you'll feel ready to tackle the Narrows, Eye of the Needle, Sleeping Beauty, and the finishing thrill of Souse Hole. Sponsor: Los Rios River Runners10/137am-5:30pm40$135
Leave No Trace - Trainer CourseParticipants will assist participants in learning more about the seven principles of Leave No Trace, and techniques for disseminating these low impact skills. Trainer Courses are designed for educators, guides, agency employees and other outdoor professionals. The agenda contains both classroom and field components. Successful graduates of the Trainer Course gain skills to teach Leave No Trace techniques and ethics to their clients, friends, and family. Sponsor: Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics10/13-10/149am-4pm12$89
Deception Peak Hike in the Pecos WildernessParticipants will experience directly the special attributes of the Pecos Wilderness, from the lush vegetation on the heavily forested slopes to the alpine tundra on the summit, with magnificent views of the many high peaks. Sack lunches will be provided for a summit lunch break, and discussions along the trail will offer opportunities to discuss the social, economic and climatic forces threatening the very concept of wilderness, and how each participant can become a wilderness advocate. The actual hike will take about 5 hours. The drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe is about an hour each way, plus 40 minutes to and from the Ski Basin. Sponsor: Sierra Club - Rio Grande Chapter10/139am-6pm12FREE
Sandia Mountain Wilderness Work DayThe Wilderness Work Day will include participating in trail maintenance in the beautiful Sandia Mountain Wilderness and a presentation by Forest Service personnel on the challenges in managing a designated wilderness area adjacent to the Albuquerque Metro Area (population 750,000). Lunch will be provided. Sponsors: Cibola National Forest and Wilderness Volunteers10/148am-4pm15FREE
Conserving the Future on New Mexico's National Wildlife RefugesTake a van tour that visits three National Wildlife Refuges, Valle de Oro, Sevilleta, and Bosque del Apache, to see wildlife conservation on the middle Rio Grande. At the urban refuge, Valle de Oro, see the efforts underway to introduce youth to the outdoors. At Sevilleta, learn about the University of New Mexico's long term ecological research and Mexican wolf recovery programs. At Bosque del Apache, experience the challenges of managing three wilderness units and providing habitat for endangered species and migratory birds. Lunch will be provided by a local deli. Sponsor: Fish and Wildlife Service10/148am-5:30pm18$15
Mi Casita: Aldo Leopold's Historic HomeIn 1912 Aldo Leopold, the newly appointed supervisor of the Carson National Forest, married Estella Luna Otero Bergere, a prominent daughter of Santa Fe, and together they moved into their new house, "Mi Casita," in the remote village of Tres Piedras, New Mexico. In 2012, the doors opened to a new generation of writers, thinkers, and artists. The Aldo and Estella Leopold Residency Program is a retreat for writers and artists in the context of land ethics. Visit and tour, 35 miles NW of Taos. The tour will make a lunch stop. Sponsor: Carson National Forest10/148am-6pm40$25
Acoma Sky City: Engaging Native Youth In WildernessThis field trip will include a formal welcome by Tribal leaders; a tour of the famous Acoma Sky City; interactive discussions on how traditional/contemporary Acoma culture has been integrated into a sustainable Native youth conservation partnership between Acoma Pueblo and the Southwest Conservation Corps; and finally a brief stop-over at the Albuquerque Pueblo Cultural Center. Lunch will be provided at the Acoma Pueblo restaurant.10/148am-5pm32$80
Guided Rio Grande Sunset Paddling AdventureThis guided exploration of the Rio Grande offers attendees the opportunity to take in the famous Sandia mountain sunset while experiencing the serenity of the late afternoon river. This float trip will be followed by a campfire and an assortment of snacks (fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, crackers, shrimp, S'mores etc.) at Bernalillo's Coronado Campground. Limited to 36 adults and up to 15 children under 12. Sponsor: Quiet Waters Paddling10/143:30pm-9:30pm36$79
Wilderness Science at the Sevilleta National Wildlife RefugeThis field trip is a science-focused tour of research sites in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge and the University of New Mexico Sevilleta Field Research Station. Discussions will center on long-term ecological research and the ecological impacts of global environmental change on ecosystems in New Mexico; highlight the role of National Wildlife Refuges in conservation and research; and illustrate how NSF funding supports research, training and outreach in New Mexico. Sack lunches will be provided. Sponsor: University of New Mexico10/158am-4pm20$15
A Tour and Discussion of the Sandia Mountain Natural History CenterThe Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is an environmental education center located just east of Albuquerque. Our beautiful 128-acre piece of pinon-juniper forest is owned by Albuquerque Public Schools, and is run by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. The mission of the center is to educate the citizens of New Mexico about ecology, ecosystems, and the environment. This event will include a tour of the facilities, a short hike on our trails and into the Sandia Mountain Wilderness. Sponsor: Sandia Mountain Natural History Center10/158am-noon14FREE
Ojito Wilderness Hike: Making Wilderness A RealityThe Ojito Wilderness includes hoodoos, petrified wood, fossils, petroglyphs, and the lowest elevation ponderosa pine forest in NM. There will be two hikes: one to a hoodoo and ponderosa area led by James Sippel, BLM Wilderness Coordinator for NM, and the other to a seismosaurus dig led by Dr. Spencer Lucas, NM Museum of Natural History. Both hikes include other guest speakers and are easy to moderate; elevation is 5800 feet and each would take about 3 hours plus lunch, provided by Relish deli. Sponsor: Great Old Broads for Wilderness10/159am-4pm24$20
Bosque School: Citizen Science on the Local LandscapeJoin the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP) to learn about Citizen Science on the local landscape. We will share innovative and low budget ways to successfully engage K-12 students to track environmental changes for land managers. This will include simple data collections like groundwater, leaf litter and precipitation. BEMP will also highlight our wildlife research and environmental education. We will be hiking, so participants should dress appropriately and bring a water bottle. Sponsor: Bosque School10/1510am-2pm14$15
How Wilderness Heals Us: Physically, Emotionally, and SpirituallyJoin us for an exceptional outdoor experience in beautiful Placitas, NM. Led by wilderness expert Budd Berkman, this event will gently guide us in the healing aspects of the natural world and how to reconnect with our deepest self by emulating nature's natural rhythms. Think of this event as a 2-hour therapeutic session with Nature as your mentor, as we learn how to tap into her aesthetic, spiritual, and healing aspects. Bonus! - Enjoy homemade Indian chai and snacks after the event. Sponsor: ARCA10/1512:30pm-4pm16$34
Aldo Leopold's Bosque and the Rio Grande Valley State Park Bike TourThis field trip is a two-hour bike ride on the Rio Grande Valley State Park's Paseo del Bosque River Trail winding beneath old growth cottonwoods, showcasing beautiful scenery as Routes Rentals & Tours and the Sierra Club describe the area's ecology and threats. Bikes are included and participants will bike directly from the Hyatt Regency. Sponsor: Sierra Club - Rio Grande Chapter10/152pm-4pm20$30
Aldo Leopold's Bosque and the Rio Grande Valley State Park Bike TourThis field trip is a two-hour bike ride on the Rio Grande Valley State Park's Paseo del Bosque River Trail winding beneath old growth cottonwoods, showcasing beautiful scenery as Routes Rentals & Tours and the Sierra Club describe the area's ecology and threats. Bikes are included and participants will bike directly from the Hyatt Regency. Sponsor: Sierra Club - Rio Grande Chapter10/192pm-4pm20$30
Guided Rio Grande Sunset Paddling AdventureThis guided exploration of the Rio Grande offers attendees the opportunity to take in the famous Sandia mountain sunset while experiencing the serenity of the late afternoon river. This float trip will be followed by a campfire and an assortment of snacks (fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, crackers, shrimp, S'mores etc.) at Bernalillo's Coronado Campground. Limited to 36 adults and up to 15 children under 12. Sponsor: Quiet Waters Paddling10/193:30pm-9:30pm36$79
Self-guided Rio Grande Paddling AdventureThis 3-hour self-guided tour of nearly 10 miles of the Rio Grande River is offered for those who have prior experience on rivers, and wish to enjoy the river without extra frills. Tour includes choice of watercraft, all required equipment and transportation. Participants may want to bring their own food or snacks (none are supplied for self-guided trips). Limited to 18 adults and up to 10 children under 12. Sponsor: Quiet Waters Paddling10/208:30am-2:30pm14$52
Guided Rio Grande Paddling AdventureThis 3-hour guided exploration of the Rio Grande River will traverse nearly 10 miles of remote Class I water, offering an opportunity to experience the remote scenery and diverse wildlife of the region. Includes interpretive guide(s), bottled water and a light picnic along the way. Limited to 18 adults and up to 10 children under 12. Sponsor: Quiet Waters Paddling10/2010:30am-3pm18$79