There is no better way to celebrate the end of the semester than a trip! After the last spring semester, I took a trip up to Los Alamos. This time around, especially with COVID-19, I had to watch how far I went from ABQ. I also needed to make sure that wherever I went, I needed to maintain social distancing. My roommates and I decided to go to Valencia County, NM to spend the night in Trigo Canyon.

Trigo Canyon

Trigo Canyon has a trail that was mentioned in the book my roommates and I have where we’ve been getting all of our weekend hikes. The trail itself was said to be super isolated which sounded like a perfect spot in the midst of quarantine. The hike was in BLM land. It was a 5 mile out and back hike through the canyon. There was a 2,654 feet elevation gain and the majority of the hike was covered by trees like Junipers and Pines.

Camping

There is a campsite right before the trailhead. The campsite has been closed but the trail remains open. There was a gate closed right after the parking lot but ended up setting up camp in the parking lot. There were a few people who came in and out for the hike, but the place we set up camp was just us.

The Drive

We got lost at first getting to the trail. Google maps took us too far and told us to turn in a now fenced off-road. Eventually, we backtracked and got back on Trigo Springs Road. The road to the parking lot was completely unpaved with lots of rocks. Be sure, if you attempt this trail, you are prepared for the drive out. In total, it was no more than an hour and a half drive to the trailhead.

The Night

We arrived at the campsite before sunset. There was a really amazing view of the valley. Once the sun set, we could see the lights from ABQ and Los Lunas. There were also lots of stars that we could see. Before we went to bed. We saw lightning on the other side of the mountains, but it didn’t end up raining on us. There was, however, crazy winds that hit around 1:00 am. Even though it woke me up, I was able to fall back asleep and actually sleep past the sunrise.

The Hike

After some breakfast, we headed to the trailhead. We had my roommates’ dog with us, so we didn’t get to do the whole ten miles. We ended up doing about half the trail. The hike follows a stream the whole way up. If we were able to get all the way to the summit, we would have seen some great waterfalls. The hike had so much shade and some parts didn’t even feel like we were in the desert until we stumbled upon some cactus.

Takeaways

It was a really great trip. I felt that I finally relaxed and let the stress from the semester melt away. The ride was bumpy, but we were well prepared. Make sure that if you go, you take the off roading easy and bring plenty of water for the hike!

I hope you have also found a way to decompress from the semester!

Anna