Trail Name: Los Alamos Mesa Trail
Evaluators and Devices Used: Terry Foxx and Charles (Jim) Foxx, using Drive Medical RTL10266 Nitro Euro Style Rollator Walker, Standard Height, 10-inch wheels, 23 inches wide at the base. Also evaluated by Dennis and Terry Beery using a manually operated wheelchair.
Date & Time Evaluated: Afternoon on April 24, 2021.
Location: You can begin this trail either from the East Park parking lot or at the end of Nambe Place off of Nambe Loop. The slope from the East Park entrance is steep, with a grade of over 20%. The Nambe Loop end’s slope is less than 10%. View the trail on Google Maps here.
Trail Length: 1-mile roundtrip.
Trail Surface: Paved asphalt. The trail is wide and more-or-less flat except for the end near Aspen Ridge, which has a hill. It is fairly smooth, however big cracks have developed since it was constructed in 2007.
Trail Slope: Mostly flat, but greater than 20% at the entrance from the East Park side; less than 10% on the Nambe Place side.
Parking: There is a large parking lot at East Park with 2 handicapped spots. The parking lot off of Nambe Place is smaller and does not have designated accessible spots. There is room for 2 – 3 vehicles. Despite no designated handicapped spots, Dennise Beery reported that there was plenty of space for him to assemble his wheelchair behind his car.
Restrooms: Bathrooms at the East Park end of the trail were closed at the time of this evaluation, no bathrooms are at the Nambe Loop end.
Benches: There are several metal benches around the route.
Shade: The Nambe Loop end is open and sunny. As one goes toward the Aspen Ridge end, there are trees and shade.
Traffic Level: Semi-busy, evaluators encountered dog walkers and children on the trail.
Ecosystem: A ponderosa pine forest and open grassy area. Ponderosa pine, Douglas Fir, One-seed Juniper, with an under-story of oak and other shrubby species.
Comments by Terry Foxx:
This trail is about half a mile one way. I do not think I have ever walked this trail in the 50 years I have lived here before this evaluation. What a shame! It’s a beautiful, peaceful trail with benches where one can sit, view the canyon, and journal. This is a nice, wide, and paved trail. It was very accessible to a Rollator walker and I met dog walkers and children on the trail. I was so pleased and excited to find this beautiful trail.
Interestingly, the trail ends or begins at Aspen Ridge Lodge Retirement Home and East Park. We started at the Nambe Loop end. I would guess they paved the trail and put up various signs and benches to complement Aspen Ridge. There are signs along the way that show different exercises and some signs that explain the canyon and flowers. The signs are called LifeTrail.
The Aspen Ridge end has a slope of greater than 20%. To me, it seemed strange to be so steep with the assisted living facility so close. Using my Rollator brakes was necessary on the Aspen Ridge end and might be difficult in a wheelchair. Dennis Beery used a wheelchair to access the trail from Nambe Place and reported that he found the trail manageable until the hill up to Aspen Ridge. However, the large cracks in the surface of the pavement were difficult for him to traverse. Hopefully, the cracks can be repaired to maintain accessibility.
The trail ends (or begins) at the parking lot off Nambe Place and then it becomes the Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail. We only walked a short way on the Pueblo Canyon Rim. The surface is packed soil and is about 2 feet wide. I was able to navigate it a short way but did not go on because of time restraints. However, it was not too bad for me for a short distance. If more grass grows, I might have a different experience. The wheels of my Rollator got hung up a few times navigating the terrain, but I will try this trail on another day.