Armijo-Sulphur Canyon Loop
East side of Sandias near Doc Long's
Elev: 7100-7900 ft.
10 March, 2007
Terri & David Wallis
20-30% of this route is still under snow, with a few
snowbanks 2 ft or more in depth.
The portion of Faulty Trail which drops along the north-facing
Cienega Canyon from the south is quite snowy and postholing makes it a bit
challenging. We did a pretty good job of punching through, so this stretch
should be much easier for subsequent hikers.
As one would expect, trails are
muddy, but there's not much water flowing. The part of Armijo
Canyon near the crossing of Faulty Trail has moderate flow.
The Abert's squirrels were out in force, and actually outnumbered
Homo perambulus and Canus fido sometimes encountered along
We saw surprisingly few birds, although there were numerous feathers
along the trail and one very well-fed Cooper's hawk.
The only things in any abundance were various polypores
and generous fruitings of the orange jelly fungus Tremella. It's a
bit early for any of the ascomycetes we associate with melting snow.
We encountered numerous squirrel digs, an indication that the Abert's
were harvesting hypogeous fungi.
We also discovered several spherical specimens along
the trail. These were all approx 7cm in diameter, bright yellow, and had a
hairy peridium. We thought at first they might be a new species of
puffball. However, there was no evident point of attachment and they
rolled freely when kicked. We tried the tree test, throwing one specimen at
the trunk of a large Ponderosa. It actually bounced off the trunk and
continued to bounce along the trail for a considerable distance. The
determining factor in identification was a dried translucent film on the
peridial exterior which we decided had been the saliva of a Labrador Retriever.
For the next month or more, we would strongly recommend
high, waterproof boots--unless, of course, one enjoys wet feet.
not necessary, but they wouldn't be a bad idea, either.
A walking stick or hiking pole becomes one's best friend when
extracting oneself from the snow with one foot on the surface and the
other sunk in to the hip.
March 17th Hike Report
Map (hike route marked in blue)
2007 Hikes & Field Trips