I'd recently read on the Los Alamos Trails Facebook page that the School Canyon Trail was being slightly rerouted to remove a 900' section of the trail on private property. I definitely wanted to check it out. I finally did last week. The reroute is really nice and makes a sweet trail even sweeter! It gets you closer to the canyon edge but not head-spinningly so.
Coming from the Pueblo Canyon Fill, below Diamond Drive, and after you pass below the Redeemer Lutheran Church, the reroute begins. It skirts closer to the School Canyon rim and no longer goes on private land owned by the First Baptist Church. (Note: When I was there last week, the old trail was not yet closed; just bear right to get on the reroute.)
I was first introduced to the School Canyon Trail by a retired teacher who worked at the Pueblo Junior High School, now the Pueblo Complex, on Diamond Drive. She remembers that students "disappeared" behind the school at lunch and at the end of the day. Later, when she discovered the School Canyon Trail, the mystery was solved.
I've been on the trail several times since. In the spring, pasque flowers bloom along the trail. Last spring, there was a beautiful tree full of white blossoms in the canyon bottom. I didn't notice the blossoming tree this time, perhaps because the canyon is so awfully dry now. I've seen School Canyon much greener. The dryness is alarming. Several times, I've seen deer. I saw one peering at me last week but couldn't encourage it stand still for a portrait!
Each time I've gone, I've taken a merry romp starting from the Aquatic Center Trailhead, going on several trails on the Los Alamos County Trail Network and the Pueblo Canyon Fill, to reach the School Canyon Trail.
In the aggregate, the hike is a good little workout of ~4.5 miles. It includes a mildly adventurous descent on a "stone staircase" from the School Canyon rim down into Pueblo Canyon. The terrain is rolling and most of the "up" gets cancelled out by the "down"!
Our trail system in town is a wonderful and much loved asset. On May 8 at 5:30 pm in Fuller Lodge, there will be a public meeting to discuss the
Los Alamos Community Trail Plan. Mesa Public Library will soon have a copy of the plan for the public to read. In the meantime, the plan may be read here as a PDF file.
|Looking down School Canyon near the trail reroute|
|School Canyon is too dry|
|Aspen trees mark the "stone staircase" descent|
|Top of "stone staircase"|
|Nicely crafted "stone staircase"|
|Sunning cliffs on way to Homestead Bridge|