Featured HIKING TRAILS
Northwest of Sante Fe and south of Los Alamos, Bandelier National Monument has some great hiking opportunities through a riparian ecosystem. From the visitor center, head down Faijoles Canyon 2 miles to the spectacular Lower and Upper Falls. For a longer 20 mile loop, head to Yapashi Pueblo via Painted Cave and return via the Alamo Rim Trail.
Located just five miles outside of Silver City, the Bookan Forest is a pinyon, juniper forest that is laced with hiking trails. Along the trails, you may encounter wildlife including javalinas and mountain lions. A popular hike is a section of the Continental Divide Trail, which runs about 20 miles through the Bookan Forest.
Southeast of Lincoln near Ruidoso, the 24,000 acre Fort Stanton ACEC has 60 miles of developed hiking trails open to hikers, mountain biking and horseback riding. In particular, the Fort Stanton Trail is a 21 mile route passing through the Roswell Resource Area. Also, don’t miss the Fort Stanton Cave with 11 miles of mapped passages.
West of Red River and east Questa, the Columbine Creek Trail is an eight mile one-way route up the steep and rocky route along the namesake stream in surprisingly lush deciduous forest. The hiking trail begins at 8,000 feet and climbs through pine and aspen forests on the way to 11,200 feet. The best trailhead is the Columbine Campground.
Northeast of Glenwood, the Crest Trail is a 12 mile hiking route with elevations ranging from 9,100 feet to 10,800 with spectacular views of the Gila. This trail is known as the Crest Trail because it generally follows the crest of the Mogollon Mountains from Sandy Point to Mogollon Baldy. Most of this trail is in old growth mixed conifer and offers some of the most spectacular views of the Gila National Forest.
East of Silver City, the Sawmill Wagon Road National Recreation Trail is a 10 mile hiking route from Arenas Valley Trailhead To Junction of Trail 74 with elevations from 6,500 feet to 8,000 feet. The trail was an integral part of the original Fort Bayard Military Reservation in the late 1800's.
East of Taos, the Devisadero Trail is a 5 mile hiking loop with about 1,100 feet of elevation gain. Shared with horses and bikers, this trail begins across the highway from the El Nogal Picnic Area. The Devisadero Loop Trail will pass through two very different forest types. On the south facing slope the trail travels through pinons, juniper and some gambel oak. As the trail drops over to the north side of the mountain the environment is much darker and cooler with tall Douglas firs and white firs replacing the smaller drought resistant pinon/juniper forest.
Northeast of Grants, the Gooseberry Springs Trail is a popular 7 mile out-and-back hiking route with 2,100 feet of elevation gain. The route winds around Mount Taylor to a maximum elevation of 11,300 near the rim of this ancient volcano.
East of Silver City and north of Santa Clara, the Fort Bayard Big Juniper Tree Trail is a 5 mile hiking loop. It runs from Fort Bayard Adminstrative Site Trailhead to Arenas Valley Trailhead. The route is shared with mountain bikers and equestrians.
East of Silver City and north of Santa Clara, the Wood Haul Wagon Ruts Trail is a 6 mile hiking route from Fort Bayard Administrative Site To Wagon Wheel Ruts. This route is also shared with mountain bikers and equestrians.
East of Albuquerque and south of Tijeras, the Cedro Peak area has more than 30 miles of cross-crossing hiking trails. These rocky, winding trails can be challenging and difficult to navigate.
East of Albuquerque and south of Tijeras, a cool rolling 8 mile hiking loop combines the Otero Canyon Trail going up with the Blue Ribbon Trail (#236) coming back down. Make sure to watch for numerous side trails which are fun to explore.