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Hello from MD, but heading Southwest!

Hello! I'm a beginner hiker; grew up in NJ and currently living in MD. I joined because I'm learning more about this community and really just love getting outside on weekends, getting healthier, and trying to get away from my super hectic workplace (in healthcare...enough said). Right now I'm focusing on getting advice and hearing stories about hiking in the US Southwest---I'm planning a trip to New Mexico (for when travel advisories and public health allows) and would love to learn more about what it's like to hike in that part of the country, particularly in the fall around October or November. I'm looking forward to chatting with and learning from everyone!

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Thanks! I have a quick question for you -- do you remember how you dressed for your trip for your outdoorsy activities? As an East Coaster I'm sure I have a stereotype in my mind about what the weather in New Mexico is like but I'm probably wrong. Cold at night, like colder than you would think, I'm told, but I'm clueless about the fall weather in that state. 


Good question.  I went back and looked at my photos.  I was there in mid-October.  It looks like I wore long sleeve shirts and long pants most of the time and sometimes with a windbreaker over that.  Most of the time during the day though it was really comfortable.  I may have stripped down to a t-shirt a couple of days  I went on an amazing hike outside of Albuquerque (sorry can't think of the name of the trail) that goes up to hot springs where one can swim.  If you ask around the local outdoor people in Alb. they should be able to tell you where this is.  It was like a garden of eden.  I don't recall feeling cold when I got out of the water.  On the other hand, I did wake up to light snow on the ground one morning in Sante Fe.  It quickly melted and even with snow it didn't feel that cold to me.  One last note: when you go from near sea level in MD to 5000+ foot elevation expect your body to not feel quite like its normal self.  Stay hydrated and go light on the alcohol.

Thanks that's very helpful. Layers it is! The elevation tip didn't even occur to me so definitely discussing with my party about that. 


Hi again @agraciouspearl .  Even though I said earlier I had no real-world experience in the SW, it occurs to me that refers only to hiking/camping.  I have made a couple of business trips there, and one thing I remember clearly is the lack of the humidity I'm used to here in Maryland.  Sweat evaporates quickly, cooling you down much more rapidly and more completely than you may be used to; to the point you can go from steaming to having chills in a matter of minutes. Definitely opt for moisture wicking/quick drying clothing, and have enough layers available to compensate. 

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