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.

Only went in 3.7 miles. The steepest portion of the trail is the first 1.5 miles. It’s rather rocky as compared to the PNW. There were patches of snow but easily done in trail runners. Some slick mud in spots. Saw a beautiful bull elk at about 2.5 to 3 miles in. The trail stays in the trees the whole time and I’m guessing this would be a great hike in the warmer months.

hiking
6 days ago

This is a great trail. Instead of attempting the steep drive in my Honda Civic, we parked in the ski valley and hiked up one of the ski runs to the trail head. Go through the ski village and head left along the chair lift. The run curves to the right and follows the river to your left. Cross the river again at the Phoenix restaurant / Kachina chair lift, and you're at the true trail head. This was about 8 miles round trip and relatively steep, but do-able even without hiking poles.

LOVE THIS TRAIL!! Lovely trees and a nice view of the Sandia rock formations, plus a great view of the city once you're into the trail a ways. I'll definitely be coming back here!

hiking
9 days ago

Great hike! Lots of trees, more the farther in you go. Plenty of shade and a gorgeous view of the mountains ahead and the city behind.

Definitely a challenging but rewarding hike! A lot of climbing and steep elevation near the crash site, but worth it!

Wonderful/ beautiful hike, very steep towards the end of the hike. Continuing past the crash site will take you to the top of the La Luz. Would highly recommend.

This was hands down one of my favorite hikes that I have done in the Albuquerque area. The hike is challenging, but you feel so rewarded when completed. Looking up above and seeing the Tram was really surreal! The TWA plane crash stretches up the mountain at the end of the hike for quite a ways...It is very sad, but also very interesting. Take lots of snacks and water!

Easily one of the most scenic and exciting trails I've ever hiked -- but at a cost. The trail cuts through the river leading into the canyon. The water is VERY cold and the rocks are VERY sharp beneath the water. Be careful and be prepared. Bring a very light pair of extra shoes for the second half of the trail because we had to cross the river at knee depth 15 times (30 times total). Very worth it though!

hiking
22 days ago

One of my favorites to take. it's a great workout.

Awesome walk, wore runners and was fine, minimal snow on be trail. The lake at the end is simply stunning!

nice trail, nice and long, very little elevation. ....watch them ankles......watch for cairns and wood post to guide you along.......

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Plenty of shade

Lava rocks. It’s tough but it’s a good workout.
Plan for water, hat and good hiking shoes.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike

My brother and i hiked this in late December.. The weather on the ascent was just lovely at 40-55F. I had to take off my outer layer to keep from burning up on ascent but glad i had it on the descent. The last 20% or so of the trail on way to lake is tougher due to lots of slick ice in spots and slightly deeper (1-2 ft or so) of snow, plus slight incline and a few spots you have to cross ice on logs. All doable though. Bring more water than you need and energy bars or fruit and rest awhile at the top. I made the mistake of forgetting food and i started burning out about 1 mile from top. The grassy area surrounding the lake is perfect for a power nap. Gorgeous views and a hike that tests your stamina more than anything if you are in decent shape. I wouldn't ever advocate traveling in the dark but we had a full moon and with headlamp getting down was easy at 1.5 hrs vs 2.5 hours going up. Truly a gem!

Excellent hike with beautiful scenery but definitely challenging. There are a lot of vertical and rocky climbs where the trail is moderately technical and just plain rough. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks for the extra energy to finish!

Great views and fun frozen lake at the end in winter

1 month ago

Great little trail run from Elena parking, 9.1 mike RT, last couple miles more power walking than running with 2800 ft elevation gain:)

I have been here 4 times, I always enjoy the springs any time of the year! looking forward to catching that annual September trip @Thomas and Jay!

backpacking
1 month ago

I recommended working this trail clockwise because the significant climb/drop in the northwest corner may not have water at the top. I personally began at the Cliff Dwellings heading west on trail #151. Be sure to top off water before climbing north on trail #28. The view from the top of the northwest corner was breath taking. I camped the first night on the trail at the base of the switchbacks before crossing the river.

The second day I walked along the Middle Fork for eight miles within the cliff faces which rose hundreds of feet on both sides. Just like other reviews warned I crossed the river so many times I lost count (twenty? twenty-five? I dunno). Because of this I wore my river crossing sandals all day and trekking poles helped greatly. In the beginning I had trouble in the Meadows (near the intersection of trails #157 and #53) due to an overgrowth of vegetation. I followed one trail I presumed was man-made through tall grass into what I eventually believed was a bear den. It looked like a vegetation-made igloo filled with beautiful yellow flowers, freshly eaten animal bones, and bear scat nearby. No photos unfortunately as I did not want to become the next set of bones. After backing out I walked through the river for a time upon losing the trail to get away from the den. Thankfully I did not actually run into any bears face-to-face though signs of their presence were around. I later learned flooding took out many of the cairns causing frequent loss of the trail among the river rock however it almost always paralleled the river. About half way through the second day I passed the the Jordan Hot Springs which was a neat place to stop and rest. There were numerous camps sites across the river from the springs so please minimize your impact if visiting here.

Day three started as I entered the Little Bear (slot) Canyon southbound on trail #729. I hammock camped in an area previously used by others to save time but was extremely disappointed in the amount of trash left behind near Little Bear Canyon's intersection with the Middle-Fork river. The walk back to the starting point was fairly easy but the shade from the cliffs and trees disappeared by this point. Be sure to take a water purifier as I was advised by a Park Ranger that the rivers have Giaradia in them. In all, this was a beautiful hike which I will do again though losing the trail throughout the second day was frustrating.

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