Osha Loop Trail

Tijeras, New Mexico

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This longer hike near the Sandia Crest takes you along the upper east slopes of the Sandias on the 10K Trail, and then around the Osha Loop Trail north of Media Canyon. Aspens and the alpine fir forest are one of the attractions, as is the fall color. Quaking aspen is the most widespread tree in North America. It grows at the higher elevations in the New Mexico mountains, favoring cooler, north-facing slopes as well as sheltered canyon bottoms. The tall, graceful trees are up to 1 foot in diameter and reach about 50 to 70 feet in height. The smooth, white bark makes a vivid contrast to the associated evergreen trees. The leaves, which are attached by thin, flexible stems, shimmer in the slightest breeze. During the fall, the deciduous leaves turn brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red, often slashing entire mountainsides with color. Aspens propagate via their root system, so that many hundreds of trees forming a stand are actually the same plant.

Osha Loop Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This longer hike near the Sandia Crest takes you along the upper east slopes of the Sandias on the 10K Trail, and then around the Osha Loop Trail north of Media Canyon. Aspens and the alpine fir forest are one of the attractions, as is the fall color.

Quaking aspen is the most widespread tree in North America. It grows at the higher elevations in the New Mexico mountains, favoring cooler, north-facing slopes as well as sheltered canyon bottoms. The tall, graceful trees are up to 1 foot in diameter and reach about 50 to 70 feet in height. The smooth, white bark makes a vivid contrast to the associated evergreen trees. The leaves, which are attached by thin, flexible stems, shimmer in the slightest breeze. During the fall, the deciduous leaves turn brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red, often slashing entire mountainsides with color. Aspens propagate via their root system, so that many hundreds of trees forming a stand are actually the same plant."

Activity Type: Hiking, Horseback Riding
Nearby City: Tijeras
Distance: 6.8
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 4 hours
Season: Fall through spring
Local Contacts: Cibola National Forest
Local Maps: USGS: Sandia Crest
Driving Directions: Directions to Osha Loop Trail

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May 2018