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Before You Arrive

What you need to know to be prepared for your class's arrival at the SMNHC on the day of their program.

Bus of students arriving at the SMNHC

What should my students bring for their program

What should we expect? Is there anything else I need to know?

Read on to find out. 

What to Bring:

  • A Notebook or Journal for students to take notes during their visit. 
  • A pen or pencil
  • Water bottle(s) with water (or electrolyte drink)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lunch

What to Wear:

  • Sturdy shoes with good traction. Choose shoes based on possibility for mud, rain, snow, or cold. If wet conditions, a change of shoes for the end of the day is a good idea.
  • Good socks to prevent blisters, and for warmth. Bring an extra pair if there may be wet conditions.
  • Sun hat
  • Extra layers including jackets, sweatshirts, hats, and/or gloves, as appropriate (at least 1 extra layer is always a good idea).

Remember, the SMNHC is in the mountains at 2,000 higher elevation than the city. Weather may be different than what it's like at your school, and can change throughout the day. We tend to be 5-10 degrees cooler, and we receive more precipitation.

Check the SMNHC Weather

Sandia Mountain Natural History Center Student Intro Transcript

Shortly you'll be visiting the Sandia Mountain  Natural History Center for your field trip, where you'll learn all about ecosystems.  The main portion of our field trip will be a two-and-a-half-hour hike through the forests, canyons, and meadows of the Sandia Mountains.

During that time you get to use scientific equipment to learn about the plants and the animals and the other things in the ecosystem that are all interconnected. In order to get the most out of your trip, it's important that you're prepared. In your backpack, you should have your lunch, you should also bring plenty of water to avoid dehydration, some sunscreen.

It can also be a good idea in all seasons to have a jacket because the mountain weather can change rather rapidly. You'll need your notebook and of course, you'll also need a pencil. You will be outside for most of your visit so you should be prepared for all types of weather.

[sound of rain falling]

Sturdy shoes are very important. The hike you'll be taking will be about a mile to a mile and a half so good comfortable shoes will make your visit much more enjoyable, because we will encounter things like snow, mud, and probably lots and lots of rocks.

So that's really all you need to know to be prepared for a good visit to the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center. We're looking forward to your visit, and we'll see you shortly.

Be prepared for:

Students and adults hike down snow-covered trail with trees around them.

  • Up to a 2 mile moderate hike with rocky terrain as well as steep uphill and/or steep downhill segments. 
  • Changing weather conditions. The weather can change very quickly in the Sandia Mountains, so be prepared. 
  • No snacks on the trail, unless they are required for a medical condition. 
  • A fun and exciting learning experience! 

Is there anything else to know? 

  • Please no infants or young children. They may detract from student learning. There is also a risk of injury to the child and/or the parent due to the nature of the hike. 
  • Please do not smoke on our property. This is an educational facility and we have a no smoking policy. 
  • Please no pets. Having pets can interrupt to the learning experience. There is also the risk of pets getting hurt or lost while on a hike. 
  • Please don't use your cellphone. It can be a distraction and you can get left behind. If you have to use it please limit your usage. 
  • Please limit chaperones to 5 per class. 
  • Chaperones who arrive late may not be able to join their group on the hike.