I recently went on a hike up in the Placita's to see the famed Sandia Man Cave.  If you are not familiar with this then let me tell ya. Some dude, a student from UNM, back in the 30's found it, said there were some old bones of a Wooly Mammoth, a Giant Sloth and some ancient tools left there by some folk traveling through about 10,000 years ago.

As this has been highly debated among the intellectual science types, I won't go into detail (intellectual science types bore me) except to say that a lot of people seem to think the dude proclaiming all this was making it up.  Here are some stuff on that.

Just between you and me, I don't really care one way or the other.  The possibility of an ancient dude making his way into a cave 10,000 years ago and draggin some mammoth bones into it to chow down makes perfect sense to me.   I've done that myself a time or two while out in the boonies.  (Just replace the Mammoth with a rabbit....)

Anywhoo... The hike up is easy, even for out of shape smokers like myself.  Just take her slow and easy and don't let the young kids laughing at you as you rasp deeply leaning on a rock, get ya down. 

Once you get close,  you'll see the two caves. The first one is not accessible and is where I'm pretty sure the powers that be are keeping the bodies of the Roswell aliens... the other has a nice little spiral staircase, much like the one the ancient dudes would have had, leading up to the cave. 

As you can see, the cave itself still has the names of the ancient dudes written on the walls. In my minds eye, I can see the hairy, tick covered guy painting his legacy with a wooden bottle of berry spray paint as he munches on the nose of a sloth and contemplates the universe..  The bottle of water in the corner is from a much later time I believe...maybe 1000 years ago...the Anazasi left that.

The cave itself is fairly large.  A guy like myself, 6'3, can stand and not bend too much.  It goes back about 20 feet then continues over a little ledge about 300 feet back.  That's what I'm told anyway.  There's no way you're getting my fat butt into that giant coffin....


It smelled a bit like methane gas when I was there but to be fair, there were some pot heads going back down as I was coming up so it could of just been them... (Just so you know,  when some toothless guy asks if you're "kind" its not a question of your personality but a inquiry into if you want a hit off his pipe...the correct answer is no...)

All in all the cave isn't that impressive. I mean it's a hole in a rock... but the area is gorgeous. If I was alive back in the 10,000's I totally would of turned this into my condo. The view is great.

View from above the Cave.

If you hike up and around you can get to the ledge over looking the valley just on top of the cave.  If you jump up and down you can also hear the hollow sound of impending death below you're feet.  I don't reccomend that though.

I hiked awhile up and above the cave and found and old hoodie made in Egypt, which goes to my theory that it was the Egyptians who first discovered the cave. Its a nice area. I nice hike.  And it's only about a half hour from Albuquerque.

Today, I'm walking down the La Luz.  I promise not to write a blog about that. 

You're welcome.

Views: 507

Tags: Albuquerque, Hiking, Placitas, Sandiaman

Comment by Phil_0 on July 8, 2012 at 9:13pm

The latest consensus among the intellectual science types is "is not." There are/were a lot of ancient animal bones in there (lots more than just a mammoth and a sloth), but probably ancient humans didn't have much to do with getting them there, and they're not nearly as old as the discoverer said they were. More likely some big cat or other predator brought the bones there and humans didn't do much more than stop by occasionally to scavenge.

But it's still a cool, interesting place. It goes back in a lot further but has been partially sealed up. My dad and uncle tried to explore the cave without flashlights back in the 60s (before they sealed up the back), got lost, and ended up spending more than an hour trying to find their way back out again.

Comment by Ben Moffett on July 14, 2012 at 4:24pm

Wiki has a report on Sandia Man associated with Frank C. Hibben which might be useful.

Comment by Granjero on July 14, 2012 at 10:13pm
Thanks Ben. I did some research on it but like I said the facts about it are unimportant to me, it's the possibilities that I find interesting.

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