Explore the best 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.

4 days ago

The trail is a steady elevation gain all the way so it doesn't seem as bad as the elevation gain implies. The trail isn't very scenic until you get to the lakes but the lakes more than make up for it. There's a very large area to camp between the lakes with plenty of spots so it doesn't feel crowded like Lake Katherine can. I'd also say the lakes are more scenic than Lake Katherine. This is my favorite place in NM so far.

4 days ago

Went last fall, was a beautiful site when you got to the lake. Had amazing views and looked like something from a magazine. I do suggest this hike! Stayed the night alone and camped out at the very start of the hike, was very peaceful. I plan to go again soon!

Great trail. Remote; no people anywhere! Steep ascent and good shade in spots.

mountain biking
4 days ago

Fun ride. Pretty muddy and slick in parts, nothing too bad. Only had to walk the bike around a mud pit once. Brought my dog and he loved it as well. We got dropped off by car at the top and rode down the trail to Russian Canyon road. Beautiful shaded ride in the forest.

5 days ago

Loved it. Been a few years for me, but my family does this trail at least once every year when they go up to their house there. Super green and lush and you quickly forget you're surrounded by deserts.

Great trail there are many turn around spots along the way which is perfect for anyone with children. One of my very favorites because of the spectacular views!

This is so far my favorite place I've hiked and camped at in New Mexico. So beautiful and peaceful. Hike up was not as bad as I thought it would be, took just over 3 hours; the switchbacks make the elevation gain not seem so bad. Even if there are a handful of people there it's easy to find a spot all to yourself.

12 days ago

We set out to hike the West Fork Trail to iron creek lake, then return on the Meadows trail back to the start. When we got to the Ranger station at the park we saw on the map that the trail had only been cleared to Hell's Hole after the fire. So we shortened our expectations. When we set out the trail looked great, easy to follow, cairns and signs aplenty, water nearby. Then after about a mile the trail basically disappeared. We had topos and we knew the trail didn't leave the river for any length for a long way, so we trudged on. Finally we realized that the trail and the river were the same. If we tried to leave the river we almost always ended up back tracking to the river and wading in again. We made it to Graves Canyon, about 3 miles in before we decided to camp for the night then reverse course back to the park. It was spectacularly gorgeous, and the only signs of humanity we saw were a lost compass (score!), a hair scrunchy and some spit out gum (really?). But it was grueling. I had my fishing shoes in my pack which worked ok. I came back with several blisters. But my wife only had her boots and a pair of flip flops. She was determined to find a way back without wading, but finally had to concede and just walk in wet boots.

My wife and I just backpacked for a couple day at lake Katherine for the first time. We really enjoyed ourselves but this was also the hardest trail we have ever backpacked. Make sure you give yourself lots of extra time, it took us about 7-8 hours. My wife also took a small fall on the loose rocks. That being said the views were amazing and we will definitely be back!!!

Decent hike in, nothing too crazy. Went during the week and only a couple other people camping there. Heard it can get busy on the weekends! Loads of marmots though!

This trail was challenging and beautiful. Heavy pine cover for most of the hike - it follows up and crosses over a creek many times. Although we didn't get our feet wet we did get a bit muddy. There is an Aspen grove, meadows and steep climb as you get to the upper part of the trail. We got caught in a thunder storm and had to fend off mosquitoes near the top. Bring plenty of water and be prepared for storms and change of temperature. Because of the change in the weather we descended the same trail but we would have liked to try one of the other trails. This is one of the most beautiful hikes we've ever done.

Started out on Robert's track but after the big fields i didn't want to go down down down then turn around, so decided to loop around the mountain to get a loop instead of out and back. it was an awesome hike! if you do the loop i did, stay on 270 when you hook around the mountain- i wanted to check something out and wound up in thick brush to get down to the river. really really enjoyed it all and you get a dynamic set of terrain with a bunch of straightaways so more about endurance then intense uphills.
for the record my loop was 249->270->224->250.