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Diablo Canyon is a 4.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Los Alamos, New Mexico that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from November until April. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 4.3 mi Elevation gain 318 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Kid friendly

Camping

Hiking

Horseback riding

Nature trips

Rock climbing

Bird watching

River

Views

Wild flowers

Rocky

Scramble

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (114)
Photos (118)
Recordings (64)
Completed (164)
Aaron Hershey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 2, 2020
HikingNo shade

Beautiful trail and well worth hiking a little beyond to reach the Rio Grande. Very little shade once you are out of the canyon. Take how much water you think you’ll need and double it!

View Aaron 's Recording
thomas nobles
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 15, 2020
Hiking

Hiked Diablo Canyon to the River on 5/15/20, 6 miles round trip. The Canyon is beautiful and worth the trip. Typical Canyon hike with lots of color, high walls, and cooler temperatures in the Canyon. The Canyon had a lot of climbers when we went hiking in the evening. If you like river hikes the river is spectacular. It runs through a very colorful canyon. Bring your swim suit and water shoes to play in the river. The water was warmer than I thought. If you hike the extra mile to the river you will be in full sun and sand. Do some research. I am pretty sure Old Buckman road will take you closer to the river. The road to Diablo Canyon has a lot of wash boards and dust. Any vehicle can make it down the road. There are several primitive campsites at the trail head.

James Blaszko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 10, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful journey towards the Rio Grande, but if you take the sandy route all the way there and back you may get pretty tired out. There’s a route along the side of the sandy bed that will help you out!

View James's Recording
Ryan Whiteside
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 8, 2020
Hiking

Really neat canyon with huge walls on either side, hard not to look up. I combined this trail with the Buckman Mesa Otowi Peak Trail for a little over 8 miles round trip. Just keep walking the wash to get to Otowi Peak. Really helps to use Alltrails to find the route to Otowi Peak because there are no signs.

Stewart Carnes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 24, 2020
Hiking

Great hike. Nice trailhead and parking area. No beaten path or trail or markings. You walk on a dry, soft sand, river bed. The 3/4 mile through the canyon the river bed is 10-30 feet wide. It then spreads out to several hundred feet wide with multiple channels at times. I extended my hike and went to the Rio Grande.

View Stewart's Recording
Terry Yung
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 19, 2020

Go early in the morning - this trail gets significantly hotter than Santa Fe and the surrounding areas. Good for an easy trail run!

Dana V.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 12, 2020
HikingNo shade

Loved this hike! Mostly through sandy arroyo. But you cross through the canyon at the beginning of the trail, which felt like we were in a Jurassic Park. At the end of the trail, you can keep going for a bit and reach the Rio Grande. Some ATVs on that last stretch towards the river. Also, met a bull on the first part of the trail thru the canyon.

View Dana's Recording
Lee Etzel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 1, 2020
Hiking

Anyone know if this trail is still open. It’s 4/1 @ noon right now

Angel B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 29, 2020
Hiking

I tracked this hike on MapMyRun app. I tracked it just 1 way and not round trip. From the parking lot to the river is 3.1 miles. Walking at a consistent steady pace it took 1 hour 20 minutes. So round trip it’s 6.2 miles both way. The majority of the hike is in the sand. The river is nice! Next time I’ll bring a sheet to lay down and sunbathe on at the river. Note: the last 7 miles of drive to the parking lot is on dirt road. If you’re on a motorcycle or have a fancy car, may wanna keep that in mind. The road is pretty flat and in good condition so a low clearance vehicle should be fine.

Mason Cobern
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 15, 2020
HikingNo shadeWashed out

Beautiful, leisurely hike! My girlfriend and I hiked to the Rio Grand and back with our dog (off leash). The "trail" is made up of 3 parts: you start with an actual trail from the parking lot that takes you along a fence and guides you into the river bed at the mouth of the canyon - this section is really short. Once you enter the canyon, you will probably see climbers on both sides of you if the weather is nice! This section starts out flat and gradually turns into a cascade of dry waterfalls that you step/climb down. Some areas have loose rock and can be hard on the ankles if you're not careful. After this, you get into the majority of the trail: flat river bed made up of relatively soft sand. I recommend wearing hiking boots for just about everything, but this is NOT a trail you want to take if your boots are not broken in! Walking in the sand causes more ankle movement than a normal trail would, so if your boots aren't broken in, I can almost guarantee blisters by the time you are done. You will come across a steel water gap (fence-looking thing...) that goes across the river bed. When we used the alltrails map, this is where the trail ended. Don't worry, just climb through it and keep going. The river is about 3/4 of a mile further and you can't miss it. For dog owners: This is a great place for well trained dogs! However, if your dog wanders off, gets weird around other dogs or hikers, or doesn't do well with a little bit of heat, I recommend keeping them at home. If it's a nice day, you will see a lot of people and probably some dogs that shouldn't be there. Plus, there are definitely rattle snakes around, so if your dog hasn't been trained to avoid snakes, it's probably best to keep them on leash. The only source of water is the river, so keep that in mind as well.

Elizabeth D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 14, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely awesome. First mile in was great with kids. Hiked til we saw snow capped Jemez. Flat, beautiful views, fun to watch the climbers

View Elizabeth's Recording
Julie Hensley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 12, 2020
Hiking

Great hike! The weather was fantastic, but I can't imagine hiking it in the heat of the summer. Stunning scenery and rock varieties. The sandy river bed made for tired legs, but it was well worth it. Awesome to watch climbers scale the canyon walls, too.

C Burrup
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 15, 2020
RunningNo shade

Nice little 6 mile trail run thru the heart of devil’s playground. Sandy river bed to Rio Grande and back thru the Canada Ancha. Climbers inching their way to the top of the canyon at its entrance to this recreation area. Would have given more stars, but outside of the 300 yards in the canyon, the sandy river bed was strenuous and offered little relief.

Dawn Williamson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 14, 2020
Hiking

First mile of the hike is the best, heading north through the canyon. We went around 2 pm and it was already shady. would recommend going earlier in the day during the winter to be in the sun. one thing to note - it's about 7.5 miles of washboard road to get there. Not a big deal, but be prepared for the bumps...

Mark F
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 21, 2019
Hiking

Hike was a little chilly today in the Diablo Canyon. Liked the views.

Jon G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 21, 2019
HikingOff trailRocky

Enjoyable day! Well marked trail. Beautiful scenery. We always go off the trail. Hiked with Marky, Chad, Davy(hehe)

Robert Buelteman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 11, 2019
Hiking

Dramatic, easy and fun hike that can be as long as you like. We hiked a mile in, a mile out - at an easy [ace because my wife and I are disabled from Lyme Disease. An easy connection to the pleasures of being alive and outdoors!

Melissa C.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 7, 2019
Hiking

Loved this hike! Beautiful canyon w/ rock climbers on both sides and incredible views throughout the hike. Nearly flat trail w/ happy birds chirping about. We saw a dead tarantula, a few centipedes and a few fast-moving deer cross in front of us. Leave from the Diablo Canyon Recreational area. Also, go early - we left at 9:30am (on 10/6/2019) and the journey back got a little warm.

C Greve
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 15, 2019
HikingRocky

It’s fun to watch the rock climbers at the beginning of the route.

Trisha Maxon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 5, 2019
Hiking

This is an arroyo walk, and the trail end is in the middle of nothing! There are some nice views at the beginning, but then it’s a flat arroyo. We walked past the blue fence another mile out to get to the Rio Grande... that was worth the flat hike but we had to go 6 miles round trip.

Chrissy O'Neill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 28, 2019
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble
Ray Mack
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 9, 2019
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble
Renae Lee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 23, 2019
HikingRocky

Tewa Territory traditionally. Historically this was a passage across the river for many Native folks and later others. Good hike, very hot on a clear sunny day. Hike follows an Arroyo — on the return we followed the cattle trail along the barbed wire fence, A+.

View Renae's Recording
Sheena Chakeres
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 25, 2019
Hiking

It’s a cool trail at the start when you walk through a giant canyon-like opening between two cliffs popular with rock climbers. It gets a little bland after that and seriously hot in summer. Not my favorite, but flat and scenic for the level of effort.

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