Cerro Grande Trail is a 4.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Jemez Springs, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and bird watching and is best used from April until October.

Length4.2 miElevation gain1,223 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingWalkingBird watchingRunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeSnowFeeNo dogs
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Getting There

Bandelier National Monument charges a fee to enter. Fees are $25 per vehicle or $20 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $12 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $45. The Cerro Grande Route winds its way up to the highest point in the park, Cerro Grande Peak (10,199 ft). The preferred route is marked by yellow diamonds and is 2.3 miles each way (4.6 round trip). There is an elevation gain of approximately 1200 feet from trailhead to summit. This route passes through the mixed conifer forest and is an excellent place to see wildflowers in mid to late summer. The view of the Valles Caldera and lower Bandelier from the upper portion of the route is quite spectacular. Remember, as this trail begins at high elevation and ends at even higher elevation, snow and ice may be present longer than at lower elevations. In late summer, thunderstorms can pose a serious threat. Before hiking be sure you are prepared with adequate gear and clothing. Hiking poles are recommended to help with hiking on steep or uneven terrain. There is no water available along this route.

Parking is free

Bandelier National Monument 505672-3861

From Albuquerque, take I-25 north to exit 242 towards US 550/Bernalillo. Turn left onto US 550 and drive north for 22.8 miles to San Ysidro and turn for NM 4. Turn right and continue 45.9 miles on NM 4 to trailhead.

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Reviews (122)
Photos (202)
Activities (94)
Completed (234)
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Josh Ross
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 28, 2021
Hiking

The view at the top was amazing, 360 degrees! That last climb though... bring some motivation! Wifey did not finish :(

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Barry Osborne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 7, 2021
Hiking
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Brenda Robillard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 18, 2021
HikingIcyMuddy

A very well marked out and back. For a Sunday afternoon we were surprised that there were only a handful of hikers. Some mud and ice on the trail and near the summit there was some snow but nothing deep. The views are spectacular and hiking amongst the giant Ponderosas is magical. Plenty of evidence of elk, but we didn't see any.

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alenka pelenka
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 17, 2021
Hiking

Well marked and straightforward trail. There were a few snow patches, but it was very manageable. I get vertigo, but this trail is wide with a little exposure. Good hike to get your blood pumping.

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Jessica Thrussell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 9, 2021
Hiking
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Eric Linnell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 3, 2021
Hiking

Wonderful hike. Very easy to follow the trail and it is marked with yellow diamonds. View from the top is great. Saw an eagle, 10-15 elk, and a few hawks riding the wind. Forgot to turn off the recording when I drove down into the caldera.

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George Ahrens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 19, 2020
Mountain bikingSnow

2-6” of snow on most of the trail. Had trail runners on, soaked through but worth it for the summit.

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Haley Sharpe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 22, 2020
Hiking
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Colin Martz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 4, 2020
Hiking

Awesome short hike with a well-kept trail and great views at the top!

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Charles Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 19, 2020
Hiking
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Mary Trujillo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 18, 2020
Hiking
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Junho Choi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 11, 2020
HikingGreat!

Great hiking trail for an awesome view! Moderate elevation but not hard

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Monika Krzesniak-Swinarska
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 10, 2020
Hiking

Great 360 view from the top. Trail was 2.4 miles one-way by Apple Watch.

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Brian Wheatman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 8, 2020
HikingGreat!

Up hill all the way but the 360 views from the summit are wonderful. We did not see any wildlife.

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Adam Rondinone
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking
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Roland Pabst
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking

This trail is wonderful from the first step you do to the summit. Once you reach the top you feel like being on top of the world. 360 degree fantastic view.

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Lindsey Sweet
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 28, 2020
Hiking

Amazing hike with spectacular views to reward you at the end. Saw a lot of wildlife, one bear, multiple elk and deer, and two coyotes roaming in the meadow. Best part was hearing the elk calls echo through the canyon throughout the entire hike.

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Hunter Milner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 18, 2020
Hiking

Awesome hike would recommend. Up hill all the way but the views are worth it! It was hazy when I went due to forest fires. Heard lots of distant elk calls but didnt seen any.

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Patricia G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 18, 2020
Hiking

Love it!

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George Ahrens
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HikingGreat!

Great ascension

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Lawrence Dangott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 26, 2020
Hiking

Hiked on August 26. Started at 9:30 am. Air temp around 72. Trail very well blazed and worn anyway. AllTrails topo was right on. We went slowly but saw a group of deer including 2 fawns, many, many bluebirds, butterbutts and phoebe. Spotted several flickers and three, yes three, peregrine falcons on in snag up near the top at the exact moment that rain began. We were forced off just 200 ft shy of final altitude and about 0.25 miles short. Rain and then hail and then heavy hail forced us down and to shelter under trees. Air temp probably dropped to 50s. My advice is that if you hike late August be sure to be off the peak by noon. This storm hit right at 12:30, a common thing in late summer.

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Amritpreet Kamg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking
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Clarissa Yablinsky
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking
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Darnell Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 24, 2020
Hiking

Nice easy hills, some switchback type stuff and ran into many animals and deer! Went past the 3.7mile mark to the end.

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Katie Motes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
Hiking

Well marked, beautiful trail but all up hill.

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Tom Spatig
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 30, 2020
Hiking

Totally worth it. 360-degree panorama vista at the top will leave you humbled. Well marked, no obstructions at all, beautifully diverse views along the way... #TopFiveHikeOfOurFiftyTwo #2020

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Tom Spatig
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 30, 2020
Hiking

Well worth the drive and the ascent ... 360-degree panorama at the top left us happy and humbled!

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Ellen Marie Guenette
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 14, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike! Perfect temperature.! Trail is well marked and easy to follow. Amazing views at the top.

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WarpedWeft User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 1, 2020
Hiking

Pretty views at the top but unfortunately so much recovering burned landscape. Aspen’s trying to grow in the burnt areas but a lot of decaying trees all over. It’s was worth going for the views but no return trip anytime soon.

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