Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

O'Keeffe Country Challenge Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(3)
Carson National Forest

O'Keeffe Country Challenge Trail is a 15 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Abiquiu, New Mexico that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 15.0 miles Elevation Gain: 675 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash


nature trips

road biking

bird watching





wild flowers

5 months ago

For hikers, you should start at the Abiquiu lake dam because the the first two miles of CR 162 (where it intersects with Hwy 84) is asphalt and a few homes/ranches. On the dam side, you can park M-F at the park headquarters or on the dirt parking lot that is beside the road leading down the side of the dam. They close the HQ parking lot when the office isn't open so if you park there, be sure to check their hours so your car isn't locked in. The dirt parking lot across the street from HQ doesn't get locked so it's always a safe choice. From the bottom of the dam, it's about 5 miles of hiking on pretty flat but scenic terrain. Starting at the dam, the first two miles is usually in the shade because you're walking in a canyon. These cliff walls block the sun unless it's directly overhead. During the winter expect some snow along this part of the trail because the sun doesn't hit the snow on the trail so it tends to stick around until spring. The trail turns into asphalt pavement about two miles from the intersection of CR 162 and Hwy 84. So if you're on a nature hike, you should turn back once you hit the pavement. But if you're on a bike, take the pavement to Hwy 84, go east about 1/4 mile and you're be at Bodes and the post office. Bodes has pretty good food, drinks and bathrooms. And of course if you're on a bike, then you can do this trail in either direction. You can park your car at either Bodes or the Post Office.

10 months ago

The trail does exist and I would not call it moderate - my choice would be easy, it just does not start at the post office. You could park at the post office, walk down to Hwy 84, walk along the shoulder of the highway to County road 162 and turn right before the river. The other option is to go to the Rio Charma Recreation Area of NM 96 at Abiquiu Dam a bit west of town and then walk from there towards Abiquiu. (6.5 miles West from Bode's, turn left onto NM 96 for 1.6 miles, turn left - there is a sign - right before the dam towards Rio Charma Recreation Area, follow the road down zig-zag the dam and go about 0.3 miles to the free Recreation Area for parking - there are Picnic tables + a vault toilet there). It is actually for the most part a dirt road (County Road162), that runs from Abiquiu to Aniquiu Dam. There is very little shade on the road. The road is very sandy in places, goes up and down a bit and does have some nice views. I did walk in from the top of the dam (there is parking at the Corps of Engineer Station on top of NM 96 on the right side). That walk up the dam on the rerun trip (about 0.6 mile long, but pretty steep) was something, lol, but what is life without a few challenge once in a while. I did not go all the way, but I did follow the road for about 5 miles before turning around. It is not the most interesting or challenging hike, but I was out in nature and that is all that counts to me. PS on the end I was on I did see 1 car, 5 people on bikes and a walking couple with their dog. Traffic on that end is not a concern!!!

Tue May 07 2019

So, this place either doesn't exist, or no one knows about it. I was led to a place with a post office and a road, but no trailhead. It was a long drive for nothing