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

El Rito, New Mexico Map
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hiking
8 days ago

Nice 3 mile hike, not too strenuous. Trail is in great condition. A few ricks to navigate towards the top, but not difficult.

hiking
29 days ago

Awesome! Definitely need water, views are amazing from the mesa.

Started out at 10.30 on Monday morning, didn't see another person all the way up - had the entire Mesa to myself. Breathtaking.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Amazing views. Not much shade really. Hiked it with my basset hound and New Mexican mix dog, and we had so much fun. Remember to bring lots of water for yourself (and your dogs)

hiking
no shade
scramble
1 month ago

Wow what a great hike! Amazing views, a good rock scramble and did I mention the views! Not an easy climb to get on top of the Mesa but if you can do it then definitely go! No shade, we went in October and the temps were perfect.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Excellent morning hike! The scramble up to the ridge of the Mesa is a bit challenging to navigate and find the markers, but thankfully we spotted the worn, green arrow to make it to the top of the ridge. The views are fantastic and make it well worth the effort.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful skulduggery highly recommend. Easy moderate. No shade.

hiking
no shade
scramble
2 months ago

Great hike! Fun rock scramble - definitely recommend using all trails map so you do not lose your way up the rock scramble - quite enjoyable hike

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

Great quick hike with a little bit of challenge and AMAZING views of the surrounding valley. Beautiful desert landscape; we did get hot because there wasn't much shade, so going earlier in the day would probably be best, but the trail was very peaceful and quiet without a lot of traffic.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

The best views for only a moderate amount of climbing/elevation gain. Almost no shade, bring plenty water. We hiked up Chimney Rock, chasing the edge of a storm. Astonishing landscape.

Beautiful, fun hike. Our trackers clocked close to 7 miles walking from the visitor center and taking a spur trail a bit at the top (and exploring a lot). The scramble toward the end is not super hard and is a lot of fun (also not very exposed which is nice). You will have to climb and use your hands but the rock is pretty steady and it’s short. The views at the top are amazing. As others have said, start early in the summer and bring lots of water!

hiking
3 months ago

Rocky in parts is the first thing that comes to mind a few hours after completing the trail. It was a bit muddy in the beginning, I did turn the 4 wheel drive on to get to the trail head, but this is an arid climate and by them time I came back down it was nowhere near as muddy anymore. I did like the fact that to me the trail was a fairly gradual climb, with only a few steeper areas. Some areas are very rocky. I suggest to use a walking stick. Also when you get to the top there are some forest service roads and I added an extra 5 miles by using them and then looping around on the Mesa and the FR's before following the Continental Divide Trail along the cliffs back to the top end of the Rim Vista trail.... a great way to spend a Saturday morning.... I recommend using the trail in the morning during the warmer time of the year since there is only a very limited amount of shade plus who wants to get caught in a thunderstorm on a mountain, lol....

Amazing views at the top of the Mesa. It’s important to go early because it gets very hot in the afternoons. My boyfriend and I did it as our second hike in New Mexico and it was definitely a challenge scrambling to the top but totally worth it!

A must do in the morning. Difficult for anyone who is not a regular and very active hiker. Was not able to finish because of the afternoon heat. Some narrow places with drop offs on either side. If you’re worried about balance or nervous about heights a walking stick would be great to have

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

This is a moderate-difficult hike with lots of really rocky trails and the scramble at the end is no joke! But it’s a REALLY beautiful hike and totally worth it. Come prepared for the sun because there is no shade.

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

Beautiful vistas, chimney rock is great, easy well worn trail, just HOT!

hiking
4 months ago

Quick and easy. Nice views. If you only have time for one hike while at Ghost Ranch, Kitchen Mesa is definitely better than Chimney Rock but chimney still worth doing.

Amazing 360 views. Scrambling was fun and easy. Can see out to the lake. Went on a Saturday morning and had the whole trail to ourselves.

FANTASTIC. Gorgeous desert in the lower part of the hike before ascending the mesa. I free-climbed the 30-40 ft rock face to get up to the mesa area without realizing that there's a chute/slot 50 feet to the immediate left of where the trail meets the wall; you can get you up to the mesa lot easier and safer that way, though the free climb was fun for an amateur like me. I didn't even see it until my hike back, LOL. Top of the mesa was amazing! Highly suggest this hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Completed hike today with a moderate amount of effort in about (3) hours during the morning hours. Amazing views and terrain changes throughout. Definitely recommend wearing pants as the mites and grassland seed pods will get you. Also recommend a walking staff or a trek pole in certain spots if your balance is not great. Lastly, there were quite a few animal droppings, as one reviewer noted previously, in different sizes throughout the first third of the hike. Take precaution and make your presence known. Highly recommend if visiting from out of town.

4 months ago

This is an amazing hike. The scrambling areas are challenging but with slow and careful footing the ascent to the top of the Mesa is spectacular!

on Chimney Rock Trail

4 months ago

Beautiful views! Moderately challenging.

Steep scramble 2/4 of the way up 1000% worth the views at the top

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