Explore the most popular backpacking trails in New Mexico with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
8 hours ago

This is an absolutely beautiful trail. While the trail can be completed easily within single day, I would recommend backpacking and staying at the top for a night. The view is gorgeous and the trail is very lightly traversed. You will pretty much have both lakes to yourself. There was some snow on the route but the trail is perfectly passable. At the lakes it gets really cold and windy at night so make sure you are dressed accordingly and carry winter backpacking gear.

Easily one of the most beautiful hikes in NM! Hiked yesterday with my partner, dogs, and two children (10 and 11). The trail was heavily used, even for a Saturday. It is a steep, steady climb, but should be manageable for most. We aren't accustomed to the elevation and thus took a few more breaks than usual. This just gave us extra time to appreciate the stunning old growth forest. Reminds me of hikes in the PNW (without the rain!)

The lake itself is beautiful and surrounded by interesting alpine life. Take the time to cross over to the waterfall on the far side, it is lovely (and full of the best quality water earth provides).

We plan to return with camping gear soon :).

The Truchas lakes are my favorite destination in the Pecos. Skyline trail is absolutely beautiful. The treck is a difficult one but it’s totally worth it.

2 days ago

Beautiful coming down at sunset. I’d call it moderate. Plan time to do part of the crest trail as well since the view from the top is obscured by trees

Really beautiful, challenging trail. I started at the Pino Trailhead to get to the Domingo Baca Trailhead, which adds about .5 to the 7.7 mile trail. Starts with a desert landscape, slightly scaling to overlook Albuquerque then into very rocky terrain at the base, into shady, wooded terrain. It gets more challenging after the first mile. If you’re not acclimated to the already 6000’ city of Albuquerque, then this will be very challenging (I just got here a few days ago and had to go much slower than my usual pace). You climb about 1000’ in the first 2.5 miles. I only made it 4 miles in, and will go back as I am more acclimated. Enjoy!

Hike is beautiful all the way, and what a destination!! Starts at the Taos Ski area. If we had more time, we'd probably have gone up to Wheeler Peak, but we did it the morning we were heading out of town

Beautiful and challenging trail. The last half up to the TWA site has significant altitude gain. You should be in good condition, especially if you don't live at mile high altitude. The plane wreckage is historic and creates a bit of a melancholy vibe, which adds a unique aspect to the hike.When I did this hike two years ago I tried to keep up with a group 25+ years younger than me as they raced down the trail. I wound up with a torn meniscus and knee surgery! Not likely to happen to you (I hope), but that's probably what stopped me from clicking 5 stars.

worth checking out. and if u like going off trail and really feeling some altitude its a few miles to la luz and right up to the tram. be prepared to deal with lots of foliage and some steep includes that can have loose rocks. my favorite part of this trail was the memorial for those who died in the crash very peaceful.

So beautiful and totally worth it. If climbing in the spring time, plan for lots of snow at the top!

Beautiful hike. Awesome views, still some snow in May. Lake still icy.

trail running
7 days ago

Awesome run. A bit tough running about mile 3.5, very rocky. Great tree cover, very pretty, and beat me up. If you like trail running, a great challenge, pretty, and hardly anyone above mile 2.

7 days ago

Great trail. 2 hours up and 2 back

awesome trail! If you like a good challenge this one will do it for you towards the end. The crash site is epic and makes you think about life. It almost goes to la luz. It tough to tell where it goes at times but I ended up going off trail at the end to hit the tram awesome exercise

hiking
9 days ago

We only went about 3.25 mi up (6.5 round trip) at a leisurely pace; took about 3.5 hours with small breaks and a 20-30 min break where we turned around.

Lots of periodic shade in the trees and nice breezes once you start gaining elevation.

hiking
13 days ago

This was an absolutely beautiful hike.

The trail was very well used, some snow still on the ground, but easily hikable.

From the parking lot it is a continuous climb, but it is not steep and most people should be able to handle the 2 miles to the lake. Once there take some time to wander around the lake, there is a waterfall about .25 miles south west from the trail that you can get to if you're a bit adventurous.

This is a must do trail if you are in the Taos area for some time.

We did the trail on May 2nd with our kids (4,6 & 7 years old). They are used to trek so it was ok for them. We took a lot of breaks with them so we got to the lake in 2 hours. It's a stunning trail! Snow remains on the trail but with hiking boots it is ok.

backpacking
15 days ago

The lake area was totally free of snow this past weekend. The hike length in was just right for my seven-year-old daughter. (She was beginning to complain in the last mile before we got there, but she still had the energy to explore the lake.) We spent the night and headed back the next morning. Note that signs along the trail do not direct you to Stewart lake. Instead they tell you the trail name and/or the trail number. If you know the trail numbers to get to Stewart Lake from the Cowles parking lot (Trail #271 and #251), you should be able to find your way. Also, you come to a small pond on trail #251 right before you reach Stewart lake. You need to go another, say, 0.25 miles to reach Stewart Lake.

trail running
17 days ago

I trail ran this trail and the Crest Trail and it killed my Quads a few days later as the first five miles is almost all up hill nearly 2700 feet of elevation gain.
Tree cover is lacking until you hit about mile 4 because the Pine boring Beatles have decimated the forest. The first mile is all desert floor to the foothills.
The trail starts crowded on the weekends but once you get to mile 3 you'll be all alone. Most turn around a little over half way up.
Once at top, take the left at the Poles down Crest Trail for beautiful views of the valley.

As of May 1st still lots of snow on the last mile or so before the lake.

backpacking
23 days ago

Beautiful hike on the southern part of the Gila wilderness. Very few visitors. We went in late April and the log book at the trailhead only had 7 visitors for the year.
The first bit of the hike doesn't have many highlights and can be very hot. Bring lots of water as there is none until you hit Mogollon creek about 7 miles in. If you are hiking in spring, start early! - It gets hot!
The second half of the trail has some amazing views, showing the expansive Gila wilderness, including Shelley Peak and Mogollon Baldy. At 5.4 miles in, you have the choice to continue to the Mogollon creek upstream of the canyons or head to Bud's Hole. We went to Mogollon creek as that has fishing access and a wild population of the rare Gila trout. Truly one of the clearest, pristine streams I've seen - gorgeous! Definitely worth a visit. One note: I started the recording a little late (0.4 miles to be exact).

Definitely worth the miles for some great views along the way and especially at the top. The elevation got us a little as we’re used to life at 500’. Had to stop at the Baldy Santa Fe turn off as there was still a heavy coating of snow heading to Lake Katherine.

26 days ago

Be sure to find the lunch spot rocks at the end of the trail. You take a right on the Crest Trail and at the sign for the Cienega Trail (visible from the Pino Trail sign) just head right up the rocks then left on a small trail which provides access to a long shelf of rocks directly over the last section of the Pino Trail. I put this on the recording but it’s easy to find.

hiking
29 days ago

Gorgeous hike! Beautiful bluffs after you drop into little bear, and get on the river. Definitely a scenic and worth while hike! The pool is big enough to stretch out and enjoy, was tucked perfectly into the hill across the river when you get to a little camp site (look north/NE, on river bed for small trail leading up - the pool is not on the main river!).

hiking
1 month ago

Great backpacking with awesome views! The trail is pretty moderate and well marked. Once you drop into the valley there are plenty of backcountry camp sites to find. Bear hangs are tricky with so many snags, but doable. Did I mention it's beautiful?
I'd also recommend continuing up the Rio Valdez. We looped over to Pecos Falls, passed Beatty's and finished up at Jack's Creek TH. So good!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike and weather. Tough going up as it’s all uphill.

Stellar hike on Watermelon Mountain. Do it.

Attempted late March 2018. Snow depth was manageable until you hit about 9600ft and then without snowshoes it was too difficult. Tons of animal sign such as bear and what appeared to be mountain lion. Beautiful beautiful area and entire 5 day 4 night trip was so rewarding. Had to park about 1 mile south of campground and hike in and then hiked about 6 miles further. Pictures don’t do this place justice. So happy we had the opportunity to explore the Pecos Wilderness!

Great moderate hike. Beautiful views.

Great trail for a windy day! Enough tree cover to block the wind, but great unobstructed outlooks. Took about 5.5 hours top to bottom.

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