Flying with Lanny – Los Lunas to Chaco Canyon – 12/19/2016

‘Tho this BLOG in about hiking, it is also about seeing New Mexico.  And flying is a superb way to see more if it, if not so close at hand.  And it is a great way to identify places to explore on the ground.

The Flight

Flight-Los Lunas to Chaco Canyon.Lanny.2016-12-19

It was a beautiful, clear, sunny day, with light winds, a great day to go flying. Asked where I’d like to go, I said “northwest”.  Lanny replied “Cbaco Canyon?”; “sure” I responded.

Out of Mid Valley Airport, we climbed to 10,500 feet, high enough to clear Chivato Mesa. Continuing west, from the left seat I had a wonderful view of the nearly 40 mile long Chaco Mesa the many canyons that penetrate north from the mesa edge into the mesa.  This appears to be very attractive area for exploring.  The Mesa ends at Chaco Canyon, where we “toured” the ruins of this National Monument from 2,000 feet above the mesas surrounding the canyon; see the photos below.  Then it was back across Chivato Mesa to another fine landing at Mid Valley.


Total Distance: 240 miles
Elevation: 4,692 start, 10,841 maximum, 4,692 minimum
Gross gain: 6,149 ft.  Aggregate ascending 25,191 ft, descending: 25,106 ft
Maximum slope: 32% ascending, 37% descending, 3% average
Duration: 1:59

If you haven’t explored these hiking tracks with Google Earth, I urge you to try it. With the virtual 3-dimensional presentation, achieved by panning and tilting the view, you can get a much better idea of the hikes and terrain than you can get from the screenshot above. For some ideas, check out  Using Google Earth Track Files.

SPECIAL NOTE: With the features of Google Earth, you can see the actual flight path, including altitude above the ground.

GPS Track Files for Download

Addendum, 5/16/2017: Tried something interesting, matching up a photo taken during the flight with a view using Google Earth.  I’ve added a screen shot from Google Earth to the Photo Gallery below.  And here is the .kml file that matches up with photo of Chaco Mesa (the 9th of the photos in the Gallery): Chaco Mesa Looking East.

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