White Mesa and Dragon's Back Trail Loop

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San Ysidro, New Mexico

White Mesa and Dragon's Back Trail Loop is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near San Ysidro, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length7.6 miElevation gain898 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingMountain bikingDog friendlyViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyNo shade
Description
Waypoints (0)

Users recommend downloading the maps in advance, as the trails can be poorly marked.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (149)
Photos (160)
Activities (153)
Completed (187)
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Jason Chan
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Hiking

Awesome views.

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Ryan Thomson
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HikingGreat!
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Molly Swank
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HikingGreat!

Views were amazing all around the loop. We went clockwise and there were some inclines, but nothing too terrible. There's little shade, but on the east side there are some shade trees. We also clocked 8.15mi, so not sure where we wandered, but the trail is marked well (I think we just unknowingly did a spur).

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Andrew Groves
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Hiking

Simply beautiful. 360 degree views the entire route, lots of variety, all spectacular.

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alenka pelenka
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Hiking
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Carmen Paradis
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HikingGreat!

One of the most incredible hikes for rock formations and color. Go clockwise as there is one short very steep section that it is safer to go up than down. Going that way there is a spot just before 5 miles where there are low rock outcrops to sit on for a snack or rest. There are trail maps at several spots. They are not the same as the all trails gps but it doesn’t make much difference which you do. No shade so lots of water even in the early spring.

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Henry Ramos
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Hiking

worth it. the views are spectacular. not for beginners though

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Patrick Shaw
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Hiking
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Ronald L Mourning
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Hiking
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Robert Johnson
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HikingNo shade
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Andrew Groves
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HikingNo shade

Wow! Spectacular 360 views the entire way, amazing otherworldly vistas. One of those glorious days that makes me so grateful to live in this magical part of the country. Pretty good workout - lots of up and down over the ridges. Trail was well marked and I think it would be hard to get totally lost, but there are a lot of side trails leading to enticing vistas so I was really glad to have the map downloaded to keep me on track. As others have said, photos can’t capture the breathtaking beauty of it. GREAT trail.

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K-la Wolf
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Hiking

Great trail, especially this time of year! Not recommended for summer as there’s NO shade. Beautiful vistas in every direction, fun hike for me and my pup.

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Tobias Hoellrich
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Hiking
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Sofiya Hlynchuk
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Hiking

beautiful views and easy to follow. trail is marked very well.

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britt wilson
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Running

This area is really special. Pictures don’t do it justice; you have to get out there to appreciate the stunning colors and textures.

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Magnolia V
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Hiking

See my recording for a nice alternate route to try when White Mesa and Dragons’s Back trail P-lot is packed out — indicating a lot of people on the trail. I’m a hiker and so this route was more tranquil, with less mountain bikers. Would be a good trail run! Trail is mostly a two-track dirt road, with some heavy and on the end closer to 550. The loop up Dragon’s Back is a great heart pumper, with sweeping views.

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Rosie Kohn
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Hiking
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Kim Schaffer
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RunningGreat!

Running this trail was beautiful even though there was a brisk north wind at times. The views were spectacular. We did end up off trail coming right through the middle of the loop until the last 2 miles when we found the right trail again. Lots of stops and walks to see the views and catch our breath.

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Paul Blaasch
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Mountain biking
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Kyle Hartsock
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RunningGreat!

I went out at sunrise for a run. It was 11 degrees out, but I warmed up fast. This is a stunning trail that is easy to navigate and complete. Will definitely do again.

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Sophi Dolor-Wong
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Hiking

There is no escape from chilly winds on this trail! We went counter clockwise. (Just a note: the incline up ~halfway thru gets steep, and it’s def a workout for another couple miles at the top). In this direction, it was easier to see and move for bicyclists. Views are spectacular. Some slippery ice going down hilly parts.

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Seth Feder
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Hiking
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S G
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Hiking

The views are amazing! Fun trail!

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Justin Cabiltes
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Hiking

Nice long hike. Went midday and the weather was nice and cool (this was in November). Cool geology and great views. LAs you can see from my recording we went the wrong way at the end- if you go through the trail clockwise, then take the hill up (if you keep going past it there’ll be a dead end). Not much traffic. Overall, nice workout and I’d recommend.

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Vanessa Christabel
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HikingGreat!
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Lynn Charytan
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One of the prettiest hikes I’ve done! Dragons Back is a fun ridge.

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Mikie Legs
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Mountain bikingNo shade

Awesome day great trail absolutely tough and worth it!!

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Mikie Legs
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Had a blast was a great ride. Definitely a work out but absolutely worth the view and work out.

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Mark Burch
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No shade

Absolutely beautiful trail that I would highly recommend. Can and will get VERY hot during the summer so I suggest you go either in the spring or fall OR you go very early in the summer (hit the trail by 6:00 or so).

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