March 3, 2021
by David Ryan
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Hiking and Exploring in the Quebradas Backcountry

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Quebradas Back Country Byway is a 24-mile long dirt road that runs on the east side of the Rio Grande through the upper reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert from a few miles north of Socorro, New Mexico to a few miles east of San Antonio, New Mexico. With Quebradas meaning “breaks” in Spanish, the back country byway doesn’t disappoint. The road makes many twists and turns as it works its way through a broken landscape of cliffs, arroyo canyons, and the brilliant colors of the slanted land formations.

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February 11, 2021
by David Ryan

Hiking and Exploring in the Upper Rio Puerco Basin

The National Park-worthy landscapes of the Upper Rio Puerco basin are just inside the 60-mile radius limit from Albuquerque and are where Hikes 35, 36, 37, and 39 of the 3rd edition of 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Albuquerque are located. The drive to Guadalupe Outlier (Hike 37) rivals California Highway 1 in being one of the most stunning drives in the country!

With most of the Upper Rio Puerco being public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), hiking and exploration options are much greater than the four hikes described in the book. The four hikes are meant to introduce you to this fantastic area.

Since none of the roads are paved and are sometimes very rough and with the area being extremely remote, you may want to try out the hikes described in the book before venturing out on your own. Several years ago a friend of mine and I went on a weekend bike camping trip through the basin and went twenty-four hours without seeing another vehicle or person. So please make sure that you are properly prepared.

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September 17, 2020
by David Ryan

Wandering Around the Salt Lakes of Pinos Wells

If you’ve ever flown into Albuquerque from the east, you may have noticed the dozens of salt lakes on the east side of the mountains. Or, you may have seen some of those salt lakes while driving east of Willard, New Mexico on U.S. Highway 60. You may even have pulled off the highway there to read the historical marker and actually checked out the salt lake down below.

If you look across US Highway 60, you’ll see another salt lake.

And if you wait long enough, you’re guaranteed to see a freight train on the BNSF southern transcon line.

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