Explore the best forest 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.

1 day ago

beautiful view from the top..

hiking
2 days ago

Just got back from hiking this trail with my dog this afternoon for the first time. Beautiful scenery on the way up, but I was surprised how disappointing the view is once I got to the top. The way the trail was cut made it almost impossible to see down to the bottom. So basically you were enclosed in a bunch of trees and bushes when you get to the end of the trail making it feel like you hadn't complete the hike. If I would've known that I wouldn't have bothered hiking all the way to the top! And the trail was very narrow, so every time someone passed by(which was often)you could barely move out of the way without falling off the side. All in all, the hike was decent but I most likely will never go back.

trail running
2 days ago

This review is for trail runners.

For the reasons I dislike this trail, many people love it.

This trail is wide open with no shade and flat for the first couple of miles. It is a terrible trail to run during the summer days or when it is hot. It's literally the worst trail I've ever been on. And the little shade you find you'll have to worry about rattlesnakes.

People love this trail. It does ascend into higher and better terrain. But you've got to get past the awful desert part of it first. Personally I'd rather not get sunburned within 10 minutes of running. I like shade and trees. This trail won't offer you that.
It is easy to run (or hike). If you're an experienced trail runner with elevation change, this won't be difficult. But good god the lack of shade is just brutal. Maybe this trail would be ok in the winter after a light snow fall.
I like shade, trees, and scenery that doesn't include two sweaty dudes making out in the bushes. Yeah. That's the kind of place this is. I have no idea why people love it so much.

great trail right near Santa fe, significant snow conditions exist still

Perfect kid friendly hike.

hiking
3 days ago

After hearing this was a popular hike that everyone did, perhaps our expectations were too high. It was a nice ~3.5 mi. outing, but nothing to rave about. Pretty trees, fresh mountain air, nice walk. Enjoy!

trail running
3 days ago

This review is for trail runners.

First, the pros: If you're training for ultras or any long distance running, La Luz will help with your cardio. It's not an easy trail to run. I run up the trail and then back down. I don't take the tram. I train on this trail...so I don't make it easy. It has beautiful scenery and you'll find plenty of places above 2+ miles for shade or to rest.
This trail is psychologically difficult: it has many switchbacks of varying lengths and it feels like you'll never get to the top. I don't always finish it...just depends on the day. It's a great trail to push your endurance.
Cons: For trail running, this trail can be extremely dangerous. I see runners running fast up the first mile or 2 miles, and you can tell they either 1) are about to burn out or 2) are ignorant or arrogant about their skill level. A runner can slide right off the cliff on this trail with ease, especially on the lower switch backs. This is not the trail to test your speed. You're inviting disaster.
The first mile is a pain in the butt. It's not pretty, and the switch backs climb considerably at the 1 mile mark. It's definitely a good "warm up." Make it to the 1 mile marker switchbacks and then the trail begins to lengthen out. It's not until you're up past 2 miles that the scenery gets interesting. Until then,you're just in the rocks and boulders with no shade. You must get above the 2 mile point before this trail gets good.
Be prepared, especially on weekends, to be sharing the trail. But the higher up you go, the fewer people. I use that as motivation to get high up on the trail.
Watch out for the trail markers...they are worn and it's difficult to see the mileage on them. They need to repaint the posts.
There are trails that cross La Luz...be careful you don't wind up on a different spur and get lost.
This is not a beginner trail, certainly not for trail running (or hiking). It's amazing that you'll see people hiking this without water...or trail runners carrying a single water bottle. Unfortunately you'll see these people every time because the trail is so popular.
So take plenty of water (You're going to be exposed on the rock face for a long time before you get to shade), go slow (seriously, people die on this trail), wear the proper shoes, sunscreen,etc. And be careful...you'll meet people at points in the trail where you can barely move out of the way and if you aren't careful you'll fall 100 feet to your agonizing death.
Dogs aren't much an issue on this trail. I don't think I've ever seen an off leash dog here.
Also: Rattlesnakes. At the lower altitudes, watch out. Don't run during the morning or evening during the summer times. This goes for all the high desert. I worry about snakes more than bears or cougars.
Last thing: Fortunately I don't see many children on this trail. It's really not for kids. If you're wanting to get your kids involved in hiking, don't use this trail as motivation. The first mile is steep and nothing but boulders and cacti. It's way too difficult for younger children.

trail running
3 days ago

This review is for trail runners.
First, the parking lot to armijo trial is still closed. Another reviewer covered this and where else to park.

This trail is one of my favorites for several reasons.
It's not too long and the elevation is steady. If you want a rather leisure 5 mile run, this is a good trail. It has a good amount of shade and the views atop the ridge are pretty.
You will see people on this trail, especially on weekends, but it isn't too busy. I think seeing a few people on trails is good because you can check in on whether there are wild animal issues. (This area has seen bear activity lately, especially at the picnic area).
Cons: You'll be following a horse trail at parts, so watch out for manure. Not a big issue, but just something to know.
Biggest con: People and their fucking dogs. For some reason, people think THEIR dog is the ONE dog that deserves to be off leash. Even though the entire forest is ON leash. You can tell a lot of the people that let their dogs off leash are locals that live really close by...they have that entitled air to them.
As a runner, off leash dogs are the worst. If you run this trail on the weekend, you'll most likely encounter an off leash dog and their irresponsible owner.

Only other con is that some of the forest has been cut (I'm assuming either due to drought or to fire?), and that takes away from some of the scenery.

I love this trail, I just wish dog owners were more responsible and less defensive about being called out on their b.s.

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

bunch of people have died on this hike, it seems from reading the news

hiking
4 days ago

This was a beautiful hike and just challenging enough due to altitude. My daughter and I live in Texas and are visiting Santa Fe. It was her first hike, and she did amazing! I on the other hand was short of breath, but the scenery made it worth it.

Great trail, packed snow, slick in spots. Boots a must, walking poles/sticks helpful!