Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Updates on Trail Closures Around Los Alamos

Las Conchas Fire Recovery
Trails Update, March 21, 2012

All trails on the Los Alamos County Trail Network are open.

Most trails on Bandelier National Monument, including trails in the backcountry, are open. This included the trail to Alcove House and the cave itself. The Falls Trail below Upper Falls on Frijoles Creek is completely washed away
Access to Bandelier via Forest Road 289 and other roads on the Santa Fe National Forest is closed. 

On the Santa Fe National Forest, the following trails are OPEN:

• Mitchell Trail from Arizona Avenue to the Guaje Ridge Trail
• Guaje Ridge Trail from the Mitchell Trail east to the Upper Guaje Road (Cemetery Road)
• Cabra Loop
• Rendija Canyon Trail
• Pajarito Trail from the trailhead near the Sportsman’s Club to Guaje Ridge
• Perimeter Trail north of Los Alamos Canyon
• Quemazon Trail
• Pipeline Road from the trailhead in Quemazon Communities to Pipeline Road

• Nail Trail• Cañada Bonita Trail to the drop off into Guaje Canyon
On the Santa Fe National Forest, the following trails are CLOSED:

• Mitchell Trail the Guaje Ridge Trail north to Guaje Canyon
• Guaje Ridge Trail from the Mitchell Trail west to Pipeline Road
• Guaje Canyon Trail
• Pajarito Trail north of Guaje Ridge
• Upper Guaje Road north of Guaje Ridge
• Los Alamos Reservoir Road
• Pipeline Road from the Quemazon Trail to the Cañada Bonita Trail
• Pajarito Canyon Trail
• Cañon de Valle Trail
• Water Canyon Trail
• Perimeter Trail between Water Canyon and Pajarito Canyon
• Forest Road 181


  1. Thanks for keeping us updated and out of trouble with fines! :-)
    Nena Warren-Felsher

  2. Hi/Lo: Last week took Bus #2 to East Gate, hiked down Camp Hamilton, up Zip Line (YCC,great job!), back along the Rim (also an outstanding trail!) all the way to the Pueblo Benches and back to my house. Today went up Mitchell, down Guaje Ridge & Road, crossed over to East Fork trail and back to my house. Even after growing up here, I am constantly amazed by the spectacular setting of our town, and the unbelievable system of trails we have really showcases it perfectly. Everything generally in pretty good shape, just a few short lost-trail spots on Guaje Ridge in what looks like new burned stuff.

  3. Hello,

    Graduation Canyon Trail from LA Mesa Trail: Almost at bottom of the canyon, a large tree has fallen on the trail.

    Ranch School Trail from Acid Canyon Trail: About 1/4 to 1/3 down, a large tree has fallen across trail.

    Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail: Just east of the Zipline intersection, a water bar log has been exposed by this summer's rains.



  4. Graduation Canyon tree has been removed.

  5. So I took a hike up through Guaje Canyon
    last weekend (and I wasn't the only one...I saw fresh jeep tracks and footprints along the way). Yes, I know it is supposed to be closed, and was a bit wary of trees falling on me. But all was fine on that level.

    A short summary of what I saw (besides truly marvelous fall colors and scenery) follows:

    From the Rendija canyon road that goes down into Guaje canyon all is as it was. The fire didn't hit there at all. Once you start up the canyon, there are bits and pieces of firesign at first. The stream is about 2ft wide in clear weather, but there was also very fresh erosion features that were about 50-100ft wide there. The road is easy to see and clear. Once you get to around where the trees start, there are more fire signs. First one side of the canyon, then the other mostly. Also lots of brush cleared in the bottom areas. Still 50-100ft wide erosion features. As you go higher up the canyon, you start hitting deeper areas of washouts in the creekbed. Around 5 ft or so typically at first. Later it got deeper and in places the road was lost and I walked in the bed itself. About 1/2 mile below the dam it started getting really pretty scrambly with lots of washout areas up to 10-20ft deep and a lot of debris.

    Immediately below the dam it flattened out with basically a flat gravel bed. The same just above the dam but I didn't go up there more than 50 ft or so.

    The most interesting feature is that the ladder up the dam is completely gone now. One little piece of rebar left about waist high is all I could find from where it was.

    Going up Mitchell trail from there was very difficult. About 1/2 of the distance I was bushwhacking, because I lost the trail entirely. Except there weren't any bushes more than 6in high or so.

    Overall a very beautiful hike for the whole route. Lots of green regrowth without the overgrowth that makes hiking difficult. Spectacular fall colors.

    There was no place on the route where I felt like a tree was going to fall on me, but I think there will be a fair number down over the winter. I'd say the biggest reason to keep the trail closed (and its a good one) is the flood risk, for the foolish ones who go up there on cloudy/rainy days.

    On a clear day (as last weekend was), I had a great time.


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