Condition Report
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 slope into 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 specimens of Homo perambulus and Canus fido sometimes encountered along this route.
  • 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 somewhat 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.
  • Gaiters are 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.
  • Hike Description
  • March 17th Hike Report
  • Map (hike route marked in blue)
  • 2007 Hikes & Field Trips
    dmw . 2007-03-10