Buckman Mesa Otowi Peak Trail

MODERATE 12 reviews
#33 of 72 trails in

Buckman Mesa Otowi Peak Trail is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Santa Fe, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

4.3 miles
1135 feet

dog friendly



nature trips



wild flowers

14 days ago

I only gave this hike a 3 due to the difficulty in getting to the trailhead and the lack of signage. It does have an excellent 360 degree views including; the Rio Grande, White Rock, Los Alamos. Due to the time it takes to get to this trailhead from Santa Fe 1 hr 20 min! I would suggest other hikes if you have limited time in Santa Fe. If you have more time, then this is worth it.

Be advised!!! The last ten miles driving to the trailhead (more on that later) is over a washboard road. Due to the washboard, driving more than 20 mph will be extremely bumpy.

Trailhead: other posts on Alltrails have links but I thought I would describe it for you here. We drove all the way to the end of the dirt road (literally, the road ends right at the Rio Grande). The Alltrails directions do not take you to this point so keep driving down the dirt road following it until you hit the Rio Grande. There will be a small bathroom building on your left as well as an enclosed large building where they pump water from the Rio Grande. On your right will be a teal colored pipe fence line and you need to crawl through that fence about 50' back from the Rio Grande and you will see a small trail heading ENE. Follow that trail and you will come to a large arroyo. Turn right and take the arroyo away from the Rio Grande. There are zero signs for the trail so keep a lookout for the two cairns situated on the left side of the trail as this denotes the entrance to the small trail heading up. Also, there is a small pine tree just to the right of the trail and it has an orange ribbon tied to it.

The hike is a good one and is a good workout. There is a flat mesa at the top that you will cross as you head towards the next peak and where you will get the best views!

5 months ago

2 hour easy to moderate hike. Recommended for cooler weather as there is no shade. You traverse a deep eroded arroyo with lots of interesting offshoots first. Pay attention to the Rick piles that alert you to where the trail up the Mesa starts. Once headed upward it's a south facing slog all the way up to the top of the mesa. Once at the top you have the option of further scaling the highest point from which you have a unique and striking panoramic view from the Sandias almost all the way to Colorado. Very highly recommended hike but bring lots of water!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Loved this hike! Here's a post that details the entire trail to the peak.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Beautiful hike. Great in winter.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Fabulous views. Love this hike. The trail can get washed out and become very rough.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Did this hike yesterday, 3-Dec-2015. Nice sunny cool (~40F) day. Beautiful views of cliffs, distant mountains, etc. Fun.

Monday, June 01, 2015

The Buckman parking area has been "improved" and there are now three easily passed iron pipe fences and gates between parking and in the sandy arroyo that is the key to finding the trail.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Solid up hill claim. Great 360 views. Not a summer hike--full exposure, no shade.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Monday, December 26, 2016

Thursday, December 24, 2015