Explore the most popular mountain biking trails in Cibola National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful sights! Some loose rocks so be careful. When my friend and I went today it was super windy towards the top. We both took our dogs.

hiking
20 days ago

This is a great trail. It is well groomed and well marked. Do not wear your sneakers on this trail, you need hiking boots because it is Rocky. Keep in mind that the full loop comes back on Chalk Dust trail.

hiking
22 days ago

Definitely a favorite! Beautiful views! You do have to watch your footing, but that's hiking right?! Will come back again and again! Our dogs loved it too! Great 5miles!

Great trail to Mount Taylor. The road out to it is fairly rough; we had no trouble in our SUV, but I wouldn't want to drive a low ground clearance car to the trailhead. We met several other groups on our Saturday late morning hike. The elevation gain starts out as moderate and gets steeper as you near the summit. It took us 1:45 up and 1:15 down. (We took a more leisurely pace on the way up with a couple stops and were quicker on the way down due to rain clouds rolling in.) The trail is easy to follow. Great views from the top. No snow on 4/28.

hiking
28 days ago

See my report. I had a great time, especially coming down the Chalk Dust Trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail with beautiful views. Dog and kid friendly.

hiking
1 month ago

A really lovely hike. Great views. We keep coming back to this one.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice, peaceful and mellow hike with rolling hills. Not very rocky (except in a few areas).

You can save yourself 10 minutes driving and get on the trails quicker (if you’re coming from I-40) by parking at Pine Flat and taking the Pine Flat Connector to the loop. Total length about 5.5 miles, and a slight addition in climb (though it’s gradual).

Another advantage of doing it this way is that the substantial climb (about .6 miles from Pokerchip onto Mahogany) is in the middle of the hike, instead of at the end, as it is if you start at Oak Flat.

There are a lot of intersections and I had to pull my phone out to wayfind a lot the first time. From Pine Flat, to go clockwise, just remember it’s all right turns EXCEPT at Gambel Oak (meeting the loop), Caida Del Pino, Pine Loop, and Pine Flat Connector (heading back to the car).

hiking
1 month ago

Great loop: Otero Canyon, left on Blue Ribbon, right on Gnasty, right on Otero Canyon back to the trailhead. 5.5 miles, about 5-600’ elevation increase (mostly in the first 1.5 miles).

This is an enjoyable hike with a really wide variety of scenery and terrain, from open ridge tops, to pine forest (with some beautiful Ponderosa pines), to rock walls and boulder-strewn washes. I hiked it on a red flag warning day, and the wind wasn’t bothersome at all, except a short stretch on the ridge top. This trail is exceptionally rocky in many areas, even compared to others in the area.

The Otero Canyon out & back listed here is cut off less than 2 miles in by the DOD withdrawal and is well marked no admittance. I guess lots of people still go in that area, but if you’d like to avoid breaking federal law, try this loop instead.

great short hike with cool views of the hills. good for beginners

hiking
2 months ago

This hike has the best view from the top! It snowed on us the whole way. One thing it doesn’t tell you is when you reach what looks like end on this app you reach a intersection and go through the fence and it takes you to the top! Great time for sure

Not too hard at all. There wasn’t too much snow on the trail at all. We completed it on Feb 10. Took us about 3ish hours, but we are typically slow hikers. Enjoy :)

Nice and established trail. Many mountain bikers on trail.

This trail is only hard in that it’s constant elevation gain - I wouldn’t consider it technically challenging etc.

I went on Feb 8, 2018 and successfully drive a Nissan Quest minivan all the way to the trail head. In the morning it was fine; by afternoon the road had softened in areas and became too slick for a novice driver (but otherwise manageable in low gear).

The trail itself was a mix of dry surface in addition to hard snow, iced snow, and slick mud. Weather was beautiful and sunny.

Overall this was a nice climb through woods and up onto the grassy mountain top. Don’t expect huge payoffs on the views until you reach the switchbacks. The 3rd or 4th switchback is a fakeout and wraps around the slope toward your left, out of sight. While windy at the top, the sun was warm and skies clear.

hiking
3 months ago

Really enjoyed the walk... Question for veteran NM hikers. We saw lots of animal droppings on the trial (someone has been eating berries) - what critter might this be?

The top of the mountain has a gorgeous skyline view of the mountains and the City of Albuquerque. My German Shepherd also enjoys this trail. At the trailhead, they do have a bathroom facility. I recommend you go early, as there is limited parking.

We hike here with the kids all the time! plenty of shade, and easy going. trails are pretty rocky, but not too bad. It's always quiet, & we've only ever seen 4 people total out here. oh, and some good geo caching along the trails too. some micro sized, & other good sized caches.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful trail. A little chilly but it is December. Amazing views from the top.

Definitely want to do again

hiking
6 months ago

Very urban -- huge houses visible/nearby and lots of traffic noise on the entire trail, with the exception of two short stretches in canyons. Mostly flat with several very rocky, steep climbs.

2.8 miles if you miss the out & back at the far end of the loop.

The weather was perfect for this hike and there were some loose rocks, but make sure to check out the trail map next to the parking lot before you start this trail! I ended up going left at the first fork in the road and got onto a different trail without realizing it, but it’s still an absolutely gorgeous area. It was perfect for a nice fall day, and I didn’t see anyone else while hiking. My pup loved it, too! I’ll be back to hike the actual trail soon.

hiking
6 months ago

It was a beautiful hike. All the leaves had dropped but we still enjoyed it on a nice cool day. We brought our dog who loved it too. Most of the ground was hard packed dirt or leaves so his paws were thankful. The last 1/4 of the hike it the dirt road you use to drive in, so that was a little confusing at first. Next year I’ll hike this in October to get a better view of fall foliage

hiking
6 months ago

Gradual incline up, nice views towards the top! Lots of worn rocks on trail, but not too bad to manage. Nice easy to follow trail that winds in and out of forest to ridge top. Good workout!

hiking
6 months ago

Since we live 1.5 hours from the trailhead, we hike Mount Taylor frequently. We've summited in August, September, and October thus far. We'll be purchasing snowshoes soon so that we can continue to summit through the winter months.

Definitely missed the Peak of the fall colors. Most of the leaves have already fallen, some fall colors but not much. It was still a great hike.

The trail had a lot of loose rocks and one could easily turn an ankle if not wearing proper footwear. Could not look more than a couple of feet ahead as the footing in some areas was unsure. Encountered 3 bikers coming down the Birdhouse Ridge portion of the trail as I was going up. Couldn't see them until we were atop each other because of the switchbacks & cover. overall, it's a nice trail, except for the loose rocks.

Favorite so far!

hiking
7 months ago

Gorgeous colors this weekend, but I’m sure they will disappear soon! Some of the intersections didn’t specifically say “Fourth of July” on the signs, so know the route before you go. If you have time, take the spur to the overlook and see some additional fall colors on the Crest Trail. The trail gets a little rocky in places with some incline/decline and is frequented by horses. The loop appeared to be closed by a dirt road, or we just lost the trail, but made it back to the parking lot without a problem.

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