Hermit Peak Trail

HARD 47 reviews
#13 of 73 trails in

Hermit Peak Trail is a 8.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Las Vegas, New Mexico that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, nature trips, and horses and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.1 miles
2755 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



horseback riding

nature trips





wild flowers



The peak is named for the Italian religious recluse John Augustiani, who lived there in a cave he had dug into the earth around the time of the U.S. Civil War. His cave became the subject of pilgrimage by some devout New Mexicans, during his life and for a number of years after his death.

21 days ago

Amazing view, a bit rocky but worth it.

3 months ago

Wonderful scenery throughout the entire hike. We spent some time at the top, where you can see for miles! Be sure to bring good shoes, as it is quite rocky for quite a distance. Bring a camera to take pictures. It will make for a fantastic desktop picture.

4 months ago

The trail was rocky as others have noted. Other than that it was a nice walk of several hours. The view from the top was amazing. The crucifixes along the end of the trail are reminiscent of the Blair Witch.

5 months ago

The first 2.0 miles is rocky but you make pretty good time. The last 2 miles is pretty rough. My wife and I made the trek. Took us 7.5 hours to make the round trip. This trail is definitely not for a beginner. And make sure you have very good shoes. The rocks will kill your feet. Good luck to all of you! This has been on my bucket list for a long time. Glad my wife and I could make it and complete the hike.

6 months ago

The view at the summit is well worth it. The worst part of the trail are the amount on rocks. There is only a very small part at the top that does not have any rocks and it is a smooth trail. Also, there are several fallen trees that you either have to climb over or crawl under. When you get to the "top" there is still more trail. But it is a nice spot to take some pics. A little farther up is Hermits well where you can fill up on cold water if you have a filter. Enjoy your hike!

7 months ago

As good as it gets!

7 months ago

Not for beginners. Lots of loose rocks, downed trees, and a steady incline the entire way up and down. We found it helpful to have a map or use the map in this app as it was sometimes confusing if we were on the real trail or not.
As someone who typically lives around 200ft above sea-level, the altitude definitely made the hike more of a challenge as well.
We brought our packs and slept overnight on the plateau. The views from the top made the hard hike well worth it. Amazing views! Pack a jacket though as the wind gets intense through the night.
Well worth the adventure.

8 months ago

Difficult climb due to the fallen rocks. If you are not committed to reaching the top, you will get discouraged because of the difficult and long path. Once on top, however, the challenge is soon forgotten. It is beautiful.

8 months ago

First time on this trail. We have lived in Santa Fe and do hikes there. We wanted to branch out a little. On Sat June 24 th, we were actually headed to another hiking area, but the small parking lot was full. So we headed here. I have the Santa Fe Day Hike book and I had briefly read up on this hike. I wanted to go to the cave.
We started out later than we really wanted to (about 1 pm) and by 4-5 pm the news was forecasting some storms. So. We knew it was not going to be the most optimal hike.
The trail is easy to follow, we had our book, but it does have lots of large loose rock. And , it is a bit strenuous.
We met a couple early on, they were headed out, and they had seen a bear. They said it was spotted "a ways off the trail". I should have been more scared.
The hike up took us longer than I wanted it to. We stopped and rested often. We saw a lone hiker headed down and a group of younger adults with two dogs.
We marched on until you get to the first good plateau, which is where most of my photos were taken. We were going to keep going, but we could see some clouds coming our way, we weren't well equipped and we had spent almost 4 hours hiking up. So, we left that breathtaking view saying we would be back and I started back down first. Just as I rounded the first corner to the switchback, I saw a movement right down the trail. I froze. It was a bear. My husband came up behind, and told me, Don't move. To late. I started to freak out.
The bear was a honey blonde color, shining right there in the sun! My heart stopped. Rex
Kept his cool somehow. The bear took a few more steps towards us and Rex made some really loud noises and the bear ran on up the mountain.
This was our very first encounter. I was terrified.
I liked to know how often bear sighting happen on this hike.

9 months ago

Did this back in March. It's a beautiful trail, and once you get to the top it's a unbelievable view! But getting to this spot was difficult, the directions this app gave me had me go the complete opposite to find this trail and added almost an hr to my trip. Minus that it was a nice hike, make sure to have good shoes cuz this trail is uneven and filled with rocks towards the top.

10 months ago

Hermits Peak was on my bucket list. We took our Rio Gallinas middle school students on this hike. The hike took us 9 hours to complete (total) this included frequent breaks and stopping to eat lunch. As someone who isn't fit, this hike was a challenge but totally worth it. The views from the top were amazing. I would like to do this hike again one day.

10 months ago

Went with our meetup group - Santa Fe Hiking Adventures. Beautiful day, nice breeze sunny and cool. Could not ask for nicer weather. We also found the cave. Very cool and mysterious !

10 months ago

Wear good shoes or boots. There's a lot of loose rock and it gets fairly steep. Trees were down all over the trail so I had to improvise quite a bit. Make sure you get to the top...it's breathtaking. I didn't see a soul on the way up or down.

11 months ago

The climb was difficult. Very steep and rocky but well worth the work for the amazing view. I marked the spring. Isn't much more than a trickle and you will need a filter. I went up in March so I have the entire peak to myself. Absolutely beautiful!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

beautiful views

Thursday, January 05, 2017

lovely outing on January 2 with only a few snow drifts. way over 40 MPH wind at top.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This trail was gorgeous. Lots of loose rocks as mentioned below- wear good shoes with ankle support! We started really early (my pup and I) to avoid hiking in the hot sun- definitely recommend as the beginning and end of hike have little shade or tree cover. Excellent spot to see the view and take a break about a mile short of the summit. So, so beautiful. Would absolutely hike again.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This is a great trail and the view is astounding. Great areas at the top for camping and just relaxing on the cliffs. It is a great wooded hike but the switchbacks get steep and then steeper. Loose rocks are annoying on the way down but worth it. We were at the top in 2.5 hrs.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

It was amazing! I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good hike. Make sure to give yourself enough time up so you can enjoy the view and as well have enough time to get down before dark.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 27-28 2016- I wouldn't say the trail was hard in the aspect of difficulty. More like frustratingly suckish. The reason being is at least 80% of the trail is nothing but loose rocks. Don't get me wrong, the end result was well with the trek and even my wife made it up (and she's not even an outdoorsy person). We backpacked our gear and stayed on top of the peak nestled in the woods. There was a plethora of fire wood and the spring at the top was a very nice amenity. We made it up in 4 1/2 hrs (due to the wife) and I made it down solo in 1 1/2 hrs. Only rolled my ankles twice. That being said, be careful coming down cause the rocks will definitely do you in if you're not watchful of your next step.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Excellent trail and very challenging. there was some ice blocking a part of the trail so we had to find an alternate route. Overall great experience.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Very beautiful and very challenging! Took me awhile to complete it but I took my time and rested often! This was my first big hike in the SW on a cross-country road trip. Wear good hiking shoes and watch your step, especially coming down! Would definitely do it again.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The trail had a few nice views on the way up, a few nice rock formations, but ordinary in general. the mountain was somewhat unique in that the mountain top had a flat meadow on top. Great surrounding views. The trail itself was rocky, some washout. A very steady climb up the mountain with out much relieve. Would do it again.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

This was a very difficult hike for me and my friend. We do some hiking but this was pretty intense. The trail is well marked but is very rocky. the part on the hardest was the incline going up to the peak. I was disappointed I couldn't make it all the way up because we were moving so slow, I've always wanted to do that hike and we'll have to try again sometime. This is such a great forest spot and the campsite at the base of the trail is so beautiful. I cannot recommend this enough to those of you wanting to do a extreme hiking challenge.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It was an amazing hike and the views from the top are amazing. My friend and I were severely under prepared because we weren't planning on a hike but did it anyways with only old, falling apart shoes on our feet. It was worth 100% worth it and would recommend it for anyone who is near or passing by the area.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Two of us backpacked up this trail after snow had fallen earlier this month. Some snow still there in shady spots. We packed about 35-40 lbs each and the trail is like a creek bed after the heavy rains recently. We had no maps or good trail descriptions, partly because of the gov shutdown, the Forest Service opened back up the day we went there to get info, but the person there was like a newly hatched baby duck and could not provide us with a good map. Then she sent us on a wild goose chase because she thought the Gallinas Canyon road was closed, it wasn't , and that took another hour on a different road.
All that said , when we finally made to the top, we had a great experience especially the full moon rise that evening and the sunrise the next morning.
Because of my age and conditioning it took us 4 hours going up and probably 3 coming down.
Saw golden eagles . It's pretty neat to view them from above. Missed the cave though as we did not know to look for it. Spring was good and there is a second spring about 2/3 way up the trail where we resupplied with water.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Main trail is rocky & degraded. Lots of day traffic. Spring near the top is not always reliable in these days of climate change & drought. Bring extra H2O just in case. Best on the full moon---awesome!!! An annual trek for me & my bro's. A pair of Peregrine falcons have an eyrie on the cliff face near the Hermit's Cave--often seen in the summer.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Earlier in the spring I made it up in three hours spent a nice couple hours on top and then three hours back down. Suggest trekking poles for the downhill for sure. My 60 year old knees sure appreciated those poles. Awesome views from the top!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Great place to watch fireworks on the plains below around 4th of July.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

This is a great hike. When you get to the peak you can get an echo off a lower rock face that is pretty far away. It's a beautiful part of the country.
It seems like a long hike up, but you come down real fast

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