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Red Dot, Blue Dot, and White Rock Canyon Rim Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(54)
Santa Fe National Forest

Red Dot, Blue Dot, and White Rock Canyon Rim Trail is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Los Alamos, New Mexico that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 6.7 mi Elevation gain 1,279 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

River

Views

Wild flowers

Rocky

No shade

Description
Waypoints (0)

The red dot and blue dot are two different trails. They can be combined into a loop.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (54)
Photos (369)
Recordings (48)
Completed (133)
Elisa Abeyta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 23, 2020
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

This was a great trail! No shade for most of it, and the river is not very accessible. Bring lots of water, sunscreen, and snacks. Keep an eye out for snakes too. Pajarito springs is a small and beautiful treat along the way. I descended at the red dot trail head, hiked the river trail until I reached the intersection of blue dot, and then double back and ascended to red dot. I didn't want to walk 3 miles through town to get back to my car lol

View Elisa's Recording
E Noyes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 10, 2020
Hiking

Lovely views from up top Long walk along trail along Rio Grande ... hard to actually get down to the river except in a few spots due to over grown willows. Hike down and hike up are steep and going back up I would rate as hard. If you go down on either trail expect a LONG walk back along the road or the rim trail... Or you could take two cars and drop one off at one trail head or the other to avoid this long walk. The rim trail has many intersecting trails from people in the neighborhood along this trail. It’s a good idea to have a GPS or use this app to ensure you stay on the trail of you end up walking back to the trail head you went down on. We went down on the Blue Dot and back up on the Red Dot. You can cut off a section of the walk back which actually takes you through town by looking out for a well hidden trail that gets you back on the rim trail from the neighborhood.

Evelyn Qi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 18, 2020
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

What a breathtaking hike... literally and figuratively! Both times I went it was not crowded. The trail starts at the top of the canyon, then you follow a series of switchbacks until you get to the bottom, then you go back up a canyon with another series of switchbacks. It is a very exposed hike on the canyon portion that can get hot in the middle of the day. Bring plenty of water! It can be quite dangerous going down the canyon as the rocks can be unstable. The hike connecting the red/blue dots was partially shaded. Don’t expect to get to the river unless you find your own way... the trail does not take you there!

Amanda Zengel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 15, 2020
Hiking

Definitely not what I was expecting. Very steep and loose rock trail down the mountain side from Overlook Park. The trail is lined with cacti in some places and narrow. I would not recommend this trail to anyone who is under 10 years old, doesn't have good balance, or is afraid of heights. There is also very little shade so bring lots of water and sun protection. The view is insane. Bring your camera.

View Amanda's Recording
Angel B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 19, 2020
Hiking

Hiked the Red Dot trail to along the river; amazing! The elevation gain is steep and a scramble in some parts... Time your hike to see the sunset-incredible view!

Lm Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 15, 2019
Hiking

red dot trail, very steep, ends with a swimming hole and waterfall. no access to the river off the red dot.

View Lm's Recording
Corey Flannery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 25, 2019
HikingNo shadeScramble

Nice trail however gets very warm to hot so might want to do early w dogs. Even though it appears to go near the Rio it’s does just that for the portion we hiked. Nice hike otherwise. Bring plenty of water for you and your critter(s)

View Corey's Recording
Cole Krueger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 22, 2019
HikingRockyScramble
Chris Benitez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 21, 2019
Hiking

The views on the red dot and the blue dot trails were both amazing. However, I rate this poorly because of the connector, which is referred to here as the “white rock canyon rim trail.” It spends very little time along the rim, and a lot of time literally behind people’s yards and follows a road in the suburbs for a large chunk of time, which is a total buzz kill. I would recommend just doing either the blue or the red dot trail and maybe playing around on the river trail for a while, but not doing the loop, cuz it kind of sucks.

Kenny Dillingham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 6, 2019
Hiking

Pretty area with nice views. A bit busy at times, but it is a fun area to hike.

Olga Sh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 16, 2019
HikingMuddyRocky

Amazing hike with great views! We completed the route in 3 hours, 15 min with a half hour lunch break. We didn't quite do the red and blue trails, but instead did the blue dot trail until it hit the red and then doubled back. We couldn't find a parking lot near the red, so we parked near the blue. The red and blue dot trails actually run parallel to each other, with the river trail connecting them along the Rio Grande. The whole trail altogether forms a big U, with the tips being the starts of the red and blue trails, so you have to walk 3 miles through residential areas to connect them. We didn't really want to do that, so we headed back as soon as the river trail hit the red trail. The trail is moderate, with a bunch of rocks and loose gravel, so hiking boots are a necessity. At the bottom of the red trail is a nice lunch spot near a waterfall! Overall, fantastic views and a wonderful hike!

Chet Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 13, 2019
HikingRocky

Rocky and steep at first, then smooth along the River Trail. Great sunrise/sunset views at the top.

View Chet's Recording
Mel Sheldahl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 19, 2019
HikingMuddySnow

Hiked on 1/19/19 Pros: Beautiful canyon view Swimming hole Little waterfall Diverse terrain River & creek Cons: Confusing to follow Had to walk through a neighborhood and along a road to complete the loop

Char Guinn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 18, 2018
Hiking

Moderate to hard hike, trails are not well marked, especially river trail to red dot trail. Take extra water. Very rocky decent and climb. Beautiful scenery and small streams.

Shane Binder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 25, 2017

Good condition and relatively easy to follow. Bring sufficient water.

Mike Davitt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 13, 2017

I'm 56. The 1,000' descent and ascent are challenging. The rest pretty easy. Beautiful hike.

Terry Beery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2017
Hiking

We did the red dot and blue dot on separate days. I would rate them each as difficult, but the views are spectacular. Just take lots of water!

Wendy R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2017
Hiking

We did the red dot trail. The view was spectacular

The D.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 24, 2016
Hiking

Bring lots of water!

David Haigh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 22, 2016
Hiking

I did the Blue Dot to the River Trail and up the Red Dot Trail and yes the Canyon Rim Trail isn't marked as the others. Still made it back and enjoyed the day.

Abigail Wise
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 19, 2015
Hiking

I did the Blue Dot trail. It was absolutely gorgeous, and there's even a small swimming hole by the river. I would warn about finding the Rim Trail after hiking back up out of the canyon. It was tricky to find and we lost it for a while, which left us scrambling over large boulders. Still fun, but something to watch out for!

Cori Griffith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarDecember 30, 2013
Hiking
First to Review

My Friend and I completed the blue dot to red dot loop. The scenery around the river was wonderful and there was a beautiful spring fed creek with a lovely little pool. Once we hit the Red dot we were surprised by the large number of red paint splotches that were placed almost every 5 feet and occasionally twice on the same rock. An occasional red marker would be fine. The blue dot trail did not suffer from this. The canyon rim trail back to the overlook park trailhead was not fantastic, but it was overall a nice day.

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