Explore the best dog friendly 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.
This is a really fun trail. I really wouldnt say its a difficult trail either. Good scenery on the way up, starts in desert shrubbery and then moves up to spruce and fir trees. Only knock i can say against it is that at the top of the trail you really dont have good views because you are in the saddle between two peaks. It does connect to another trail that runs along the crest but i didnt have time to hike that trail to see if it actually runs to one of the neighboring peaks. I hiked this trail in march and there was still sections that were iced over near the top.
Julie B. on Rift Valley Loop Trail
Fun and flowy. Great open space for dogs.
Ran up Pino, Great views of the crest to the north. The trail gets narrow and icy about 3.5 miles up and continued until the crest trail. I used microspikes and poles from here. Without the microspikes, I would have turned back. I turned left on the crest and took it to Sandia Peak then back to the tram. The snow pack on the crest trail would swallow my leg to the knee at times. it was slow going. But the views!! I took time to take picthures from several slightly off trail overlooks. It was about 8 miles from Ellena Gallegos parking to the tram and 9.5 to the peak with a cabin trail connector. Then 1.5 back to tram down. Great views on top!! Especially near the cabin.
We read the reviews (which mentions that small kids and elderly people can easily walk this trail) and that it was rated at level 'easy.' We expected a paved walk, but it was gravel. We understand kids can walk it because it's flat and it's not like you have to do rockclimbing, but looking back we didn't think it was super easy. We took a few hours getting to the waterfall and back, so that alone for us made it harder than easy (but not challenging either). We walked during the hottest part of the day and we had to take some breaks.
Views were great, plants and mountains beautiful, nice breeze. Our favorite part was walking back when the sun was going down. Take flashlights just in case you hang out at the waterfall longer than you expected. Waterfall, by the way, is maybe half a meter wide, at most, when we went there in March. People without this app asked us where to go a few times.