Piedra Lisa Trail and Del Agua Trail Loop

MODERATE 95 reviews

Piedra Lisa Trail and Del Agua Trail Loop is a 5.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Placitas, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,279 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash


nature trips


bird watching




wild flowers



Note: Take a left at the white pole near the beginning of the trail. It is right before the round metal water unit. Be mindful of rattle snakes and other wildlife. There is little shade so bring plenty of water.

A vehicle with high ground clearance is recommended for driving to this trailhead. This trail is a new favorite of mine. I hiked it in December, and there was almost no snow remaining. In other words, it's a good trail for the cold season. It also offers much better views than I expected.

8 months ago

When starting the Piedra Lisa Trail, it could be easy to miss the switchback, I’d suggest keeping the trail map open for that. Otherwise it’s a beautiful hike. The Del Agua Trail has certain spots that you have to climb down, and I had to help my small pup with those, don’t know how bigger dogs would do (easy/difficult? Idk). Also much of the trail on Del Agua is very over grown, and I would consider this a wet hike as you do have to take the stream in some tight spots. But overall fun hike and a bit challenging!

11 months ago

My wife, Jo, daughter, Erin and I were hiking on Piedra Lisa Trail and Del Agua Trail Loop with some snows for 4 hours. We enjoyed to view the snow mountains. We did not lost ourselves on the snow trails.

Sun Oct 28 2018

Like suggested by one other hiker take a left at the white post before the old rusty water tank. This is a beautiful hike. We did not do the loop we went as far as the sign that intersects with Del Agua and then returned the way we came. The Del Agua seemed to be in a wash, not very traveled and poorly marked so we thought we’d turn back. Beautiful views!

Sat Aug 18 2018

Beautiful trail...

Thu Jun 28 2018

Fun hike! Some very steep inclines, and some rough footing, which to me is what makes it fun. Beautiful views. Must pay very close attention to the trail as it's not really marked and can be confusing in spots. It's nice that it is shady for long stretches.

Wed May 30 2018

We have done many hikes on our road trip thus far and this was by far the worst hike we've done. There were many times where the trail was completely covered by bushes and the Del Agua loop especially had a lot of bugs. I got stung by something while climbing down rocks on the Del Agua loop. A lot of steep uphills for a moderate trail, and we could not have been happier to be out of the trail when we finished.

Mon May 28 2018

This was terrible I don’t know why it has good reviews. Was super steep and slippery uphill for the first mile, especially for a moderate trail. Both parts were poorly marked and we wandered off the trail a few times before having to use this map to find it again. Parts of Del Agua were completely covered in bushes and we had to sprint through them. Anti climatic peak, we didn’t even know we had reached the turn around. 0/10 would not recommend or do again.

Tue May 15 2018

Great hiking trail. Nice views. The first mile is moderately difficult as it consists of a fairly steep incline, narrow trail with a sizeable drop-off on the side along with loose gravel. We had to stop occasionally to catch our breath. The second half was easier, especially since you go on a different trail (Del Agua) on the way downhill since it's a loop. The trail is fairly well-marked. You will see a sign for Del Agua, just make sure to turn right (where the sign points out Del Agua) as that is the second part of the loop. Towards the end, you will turn right into a trail called Tightrope, which ends up into Piedra Lisa and right where you started. The Del Agua trail has slightly confusing parts as it splits into two smaller trails but those usually join up fairly quickly back into one trail so it's fairly easy to follow along. There were a few bugs, esp when we got higher up in elevation and around the mossy areas. But we didn't really need bug spray. We also didn't see any bears or rattlesnakes. Although there is some shade in some areas, I still recommend wearing sunscreen. My only complaint is that during certain parts of the trail, I had to push away some small trees and shrubs and they were grown along the trail. Also there was quite a bit of cacti really close to and along the trail so watch out for those. When you drive, there is a mile or two of dirt roads (follow google maps gps it's very accurate) before you get to the trailhead. The dirt roads are a bit rocky and there is a hill you have to watch out for. After going down that hill, keep going until you see a small bathroom stall. We took our dog (2.5 yr old cattle dog mix) and she did fabulous. It's a great hike for canines. Took us 2-2.5 hours to hike.

Sun May 13 2018

Enjoyed this hike with my family on Mother’s Day. Beautiful views. My sons 9 and 11 enjoyed the trek as well.

Sun May 06 2018

The Piedra Lisa part of the hike was really nice with a lot of variation in foliage and trees, however the Del Agua trail was really convoluted and hard to follow, with multiple small trails all seeming to lead to the right spot but don’t in actuality. The trail certainly lived up to its name because it was overrun by a stream in the upper parts of the trail. Overall an enjoyable hike with a good length, just make sure to keep to the left at the beginning of the Piedra Lisa, for if you keep right you’ll end up climbing up rocks through a natural arroyo, something I discovered for myself.

Tue Apr 24 2018

Beautiful hike.

Sat Mar 10 2018

Day hike perfection for me and the dog. Going up PL then down DA is my preferred route. Nice climb up with good views along the way. Down Del Aqua is a hoot with some rocky sections that take all fours and it lives up to its name as it runs with or along the stream.

Mon Jan 15 2018

For a moderate trail, it sure seemed hard! On the Piedra Lisa side, it was slow going because of all the loose rock and it was quite steep. The Del Agua side was quite fun, with lots of boulders to scramble down and varied landscape. Both sides offer amazing views and unique hiking.

Thu Nov 30 2017

amazing views

Mon Sep 04 2017

The Del Agua trail was not marked well, we actually took a wrong turn went left instead of right down so don't go along fence line. I suppose it comes out at parking area. Since it was our first time we hiked back up to find trail. This happened about half way down past the crawling over the big rocks. Would have given more stars if the path was better defined.

Sun Sep 03 2017

Don't miss the turn to the left before the water container or you will mountain climb like me and my dog did. As well as another couple and their 2 dogs. Moderate becomes hard in a hurry. There was a trail this route, as others must have made the same mistake. I will try again and judge when I make the correct turn. They need to mark it more clearly. I was one of 4 people I met who missed that critical junction that day.

Sat Aug 26 2017

Hike this trail 4 times already. Love it. Just right length and elevation.

Wed Aug 16 2017

Great summer hike with lots of shade.

Thu Aug 03 2017

wonderfully groomed trail

Wed Aug 02 2017

Spectacular view on both sides at the peak of the saddle. Next best view to the top of the Sandia

Sat Jun 17 2017

This mid-June hike in early morning offers plentiful shade opportunities and comfortable temperatures. Two areas with water trickles. Standout elevation transitions. Grand views of the Rio Grande Valley and the forest fire smoke filled Jemez Mtns. Views of North Sandia peak and Agua Sarca canyon are wonderfully close, covered with pine and scrub oak, lined with jagged granite outcroppings. Started the hike at Road 445 Piedra Lisa Trailhead. Continued to the 7600 foot elevation and returned on the Del Agua Trail. Watch for turkey! Do this moderate hike. Water sporadically available but filter.

Tue May 30 2017

great hike, it is shaded most of the way

Thu May 18 2017

This is a great hike if you want to experience New Mexico. It is very pretty, but the view is obscured in a lot of places due to the trees. Check out our video of our time on the trail: https://youtu.be/c5puPQKuzg8 One thing to note, make sure you take a left at the white pole near the beginning of the trail. It is right before the round metal water thing. Also, watch out for rattle snakes. :)

Tue Apr 25 2017

I combined Trail 248 and where it intersected 135 up to beyond the sign that says you are entering the Sandia Reservation. I went a little further, but the trail became covered with trees that had fallen due to a fire. Returned back to the trailhead parking lot completely on Trail #135. Only saw 1 man and his dog, 2 lizards and 1 squirrel. A hike worth taking.

Mon Apr 03 2017

Mon Mar 20 2017

A great trail but is slippery coming down Del Agua as the steam blocked the trail a bit and is slow moving so don't run too much.

Sun Mar 19 2017

Really nice trail. My husband and dog and I hiked it today. We did not go all the way to the rock (Piedra Lisa) but we did do the whole loop. We went up Piedra Lisa and came down Del Aqua. There were some steep spots and some rock scrambling. On the way down much of it had a tiny creek flowing so our 10 year old dog was quite happy. The iPhone said we'd climbed 47 stories and gone 4.7 miles. We definitely felt it.

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