Walking along the Elena Gallegos trail, Les McFadden shows you major rock types, mountain-front landforms, and rock weathering associated with the beautiful Sandia Mountains. Geologic studies illuminate the origins of these rocks and their uplift to elevations that now exceed 10,000 ft. after the final retreat of the great Cretaceous Interior Seaway. The development of the Rio Grande Rift during the Cenozoic Era and the decline in mountain building in the last few million years is also discussed. Note: This is a moderate 2.5-mile long hike with limited shade. Wear sturdy boots, a broadbrimmed hat, sunscreen, and bring water. Limited enrollment.

Les McFadden is a professor emeritus in the UNM Earth & Planetary Sciences (E&PS) Department. He received an MS & PhD in geosciences from the University of Arizona after earning a BA in anthropology from Stanford University.