Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sandia Man Cave

Our days left in Albuquerque are getting numbered.  It's April and we are moving in June.  We are excited to move, but I also want to see as much of New Mexico as we can.   We found ourselves with a free Saturday this past weekend, so I googled and found a close hike to check out.

We visited the Sandia Man Cave.  It took about an hour to drive there.  The description on the national forest site says... 

"The Sandia Man Cave is located on the north end of the Sandia Mountains high up on the steep cliff walls of Las Huertas Canyon. It is a 0.47 mile hike from the parking lot to the cave.  The trail leads to a concrete staircase, then to a limestone ledge in the cliff, and finally to a metal staircase that spirals up to the mouth of the cave.  A daylight visit is advisable, as well as appropriate clothes and shoes.

"The cave was discovered in 1936 by a University of New Mexico anthropology student.  From 1937-1941 UNM excavated it.  Found in the cave were stone arrow and lance points, basket scraps, bits of woven yucca moccasins, and skeletal remains of Ice Age animals such as the mastodon.  No human remains were discovered." 

According to another website, the cave is "one of the earliest known habitats for early man."

Sounded cool so we checked it out. 

It was a pretty drive and a pretty hike.

 But we were not prepared for the cave.  It was a little janky and very invaded by man.  The metal cage and staircase were an eyesore.  There was graffiti all over.  And the cave is filled with yellow dusty dirt.  We were not wearing the appropriate clothes and did not have breathing masks.

It was completely dark inside the cave and not kid friendly.  Oliver and I stayed in the entrance.  Clark, Willa, and Matt tried to climb deeper into the cave, but came out pretty fast since they couldn't breathe with all the dust in the air.

They came out so dirty.  Fail!  Oh, well.  At least it made for an exciting Saturday and lots of laughter.

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