Domingo Baca LbNA # 5066
|Placed Date||Aug 3 2003|
|Last Update||May 22 2008|
An arroyo is a dried stream bed that can fill up unexpectedly in the summer due to a thunderstorm or turn into a raging stream during years of high snow melt. The Domingo Baca arroyo in the Sandia Mountains of Carson National Forest is filled with lush (for the southwest) vegetation and many animals. It is in this unique environment that we have hidden a letterbox.
To get to Domingo Baca arroyo, take Tramway Rd. east and then Tramway Blvd. south from I-25 and take the first left (east) after San Rafael onto Simms Park Rd. (unmarked) to the Elena Gallegos picnic area. Alternatively from I-40 take Tramway Rd. north and take the first right (east) after Academy Rd onto Simms Park Rd. On your way up Simms Park Rd. look for a yellow pedestrian/bicycle crossing yield sign with an accompanying cross walk. Right after the yield sign and before the ranger cabin on your left is a trail head marked with a Cibola National forest sign. It is this trail you want to start on after continuing up Simms Park Rd., paying a parking fee at the ranger cabin, and parking in a designated area*.
Follow the trail to the Domingo Baca arroyo. You know when you reached the arroyo when the trail starts going downhill and the vegetation starts to increase. At the bottom of the arroyo leave the trail and start hiking away from the mountains along the arroyo bottom.
From the point of leaving the trail walk 130-140 paces down the arroyo to where another smaller arroyo joins from the right. Go 11 paces up the smaller arroyo. To your left spy 3 rocks leaning against each other under some scrub oaks. Behind the rocks find the letterbox. Be sure to avoid the prickly pear cacti!
To return to your car you can either:
1) Backtrack and return the way you came or
2) Make a loop by proceeding down the arroyo until you reach the National Forest boundary marked by a fence and a row of houses. Follow the fence line to the south until you get to Simms Park Rd. Walk along the horse trail on the south side of the road to return to your car.
*If you want to avoid the parking fee you can park about ½ north of Simms Park Rd. in the Subway/Pizza Hut parking lot. While the walk along the bikepath and up Simms Park Rd. on the horse trail is pleasant and easy the round trip is more than 4 miles.
(Checked 12-22-04: in good condition)