Book News: 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Albuquerque

Xanthe Miller
4 min read
Reading and Hiking
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Topping many Burqueños’ list of why they love living here is access to the great outdoors. A simple glance out the windows reveals the pine-clad Sandias, the cottonwood-bosqued Rio Grande and the wide-open West Mesa. There are plenty of possibilities, but what if you’re at a loss for an excursion that fits your desired length, landscape and difficulty, or if you’re just tired of hiking the same trails every weekend?

The brand-spanking new 3rd Edition of
60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Albuquerque has got you covered. Authored by David Ryan and Stephen Ausherman, this book complements its titular 60 hikes with useful information on temperatures, essential gear, and flora and fauna you might encounter. In addition to a detailed description, each hike has a topographical map and an elevation profile graph, along with color photographs to further entice you. Also included for each hike is an easy-to-read summary with the nitty-gritty trail stats like distance, elevation gain, configuration (in-and-out or loop), driving distance from the city, wheelchair accessibility and last chance for food or gas.

Several helpful charts at the beginning of the book organize the hikes by various categories. So whether you’re looking for something east of the mountains, with plenty of solitude or something that’s equestrian-friendly, you’ll quickly have it at your fingertips.

The 3rd edition has been painstakingly researched to include the most up-to-date information. David Ryan says, “Of the 60 hikes, 19 of them are brand new to the third edition, and 17 of the carryover hikes from the second edition have been completely revamped. The remaining hikes have been completely updated because the roads to get there change, signage changes.”

Once you’re out in an area, if you’re looking for other nearby activities, the book has many great suggestions. And interesting factoids abound—like that the opening stagecoach ambush scene from 2007’s
3:10 to Yuma was filmed in the Santa Fe National Forest’s Diablo Canyon or that New Mexico is home to the only canyon listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over the years I’ve owned a lot of hiking books covering landscapes from Oregon to Texas, and few of them have had such well-organized and pertinent information.
60 Hikes tells hikers, bikers and riders what to expect, when to go and how to prepare. Excursions are numbered, indexed and cross-referenced with nearby and connecting trails. Ryan’s attention to detail is appreciated and his enthusiasm is contagious. “Working on this project really reinforced to me how lucky we are to live in this area,” he says. “There’s so much to find. So many places where you won’t see another person for miles. There are incredible hoodoos, petroglyphs, incredible fossils. There’s so much you can discover in doing these hikes.”

60 Hikes is a labor of love and fortunately Ryan had some four-legged help along the way. The book is dedicated to Teddy, one of Ryan’s dogs who passed away just before he started the project. “I’m a big dog nut to say the least.” he admits and in the acknowledgments, thanks all the dogs who hiked and rehiked these trails with him, even those who only could do so in spirit. Each hike includes information on whether dogs have to be leashed.

Ryan ended up doing 140 hikes to produce the book. Having narrowed it down to 60, he’s reluctant to further identify favorites. “They’re all good hikes. It just depends what you’re looking for. If I just want to go to a quiet place where there are lots of birds, I would go to David Canyon. If I wanted to do a longer expedition, there are a couple of hikes near White Rock.” He’s even got suggestions for those who like to go off-trail and for when hosting non-hikers, like “San Lorenzo Canyon, that would be one where you could easily take someone who doesn’t want to do a lot of climbing, you can just walk through the canyon.”

Chances are Ryan will be at your local bookstore, library branch or sporting goods store in the coming weeks and months. If the book itself doesn’t draw you outside, two events at nearby Sevilleta and Valle de Oro wildlife refuges combine a book talk with a hike.
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