Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Easy hikes through the general caverns.
I would suggest hiking in through the natural entrance, completing the Big Room, and then going up though the elevator for lunch (we didn't have any wait time). We packed our lunches, but they have a restaurant and gift shop on site. After, I would suggest making a reservation to go back down for any tours- FYI: King's Palace is the only one you can take a 4 year old on.
-Make reservations online as they fill up pretty quickly. I made mine online and then ran into truck problems and they were nice enough to reschedule us into open spots. The people there were very nice and accommodating, the people on the phone that I called to let them know what was going on- not so much. If you happen to have problems, get in touch with the actual people who work at that location, not the general national park services (that number was listed online).-
Anyway, after lunch, we left through the natural entrance to catch the bats leaving the caves, but it was moderate-strenuous. There was a woman who worked there that warned me that it was a strenuous 80 story ascent (probably because I had small children), but we were able to complete it. Just be aware there are a lot of switchbacks and it's a steep incline. But it was so beautiful and I definitely wouldn't skip out on this by taking the elevator both ways.
The temperature in the caves is 56° pretty much all the time, according to the rangers. We went in toward the end of June and it was cold enough that all my kids wanted sweaters, even with it being hot outside. So be prepared. In the regular caverns, you won't really need any flashlights. They have lights on pathways. But I read that if you do the lower caves (can't take children here), you will need them.

Great training trail for my Kilimanjaro summit. I made it! Enough steep spots to get the calves howling on the way up and the knees growling on the way back. A thirteener + with great vistas and a 3,000-foot rise from the trailhead parking lot or 2,000 from the really cool Williams Lake. Did it three times as part of my prep. Windy on top as others mentioned.

nature trips
9 hours ago

Great little loop on the lava beds. Many birds, reptiles, and insects to see. Path is paved, and you can venture off onto the beds themselves. For the experienced hiker you can consult the park staff about trekking to the vent itself.

Beautiful child friendly trail. About 1:45 going up and 1:20 coming down. Hiked for my first time with my two kids, 6 and 11, it went well. Much cooler at the lake than at trailhead, bring extra sweater.

fun, and more wild the further west you get

Beautiful, peaceful...go on a weekday too avoid a lot of foot traffic, I’m gonna do it again!

Done with kids of 3 and 9 and a dog. We had to carry the little one and the dog for a little distance but the rest of the hike is ok.
Beautiful, all the family enjoy it

Drove over an hour to clear Creek Trailhead and it was closed because of fire damage. In fact, all the trails in the state park are closed. Call before going.

Just did the hike up Yerba Canyon Trail (Forest Trail#61) with my sons yesterday after camping out overnight at a nearby roadside campsite. After reaching Lobo Peak, we opted to come down using Manzanita Canyon Trail (Forest Trail #58). The distance on the road between these trailheads is just less than a mile which made it as a great loop.

Going up on Yerba was spectacular! We are accomplished hikers, but I must agree that doing this trail is not for the faint hearted. We went up on it on July 16, and the first part of the trail was lined with lush, eye-popping green foliage and flowers. We criss-crossed the stream like almost 20 times, which added more adventure to doing the trail.

For us, the additional challenge was the rain combined with hail for about 1.5 miles before we reached the peak. Wearing our ponchos really helped. The view from the peak was -well- breathtaking!! According to the GPS on my Garmin watch, the distance from the trailhead to the peak was 4.75 miles.

I was very glad that we made the decision to use the Manzanita Trail for the descent. It is longer but not as steep as Yerba. Even so, it was taxing on our legs doing a lot of braking as we went down. Trekking poles are highly recommended to help with braking and balance. The beauty of Manzanita was similar to Yerba with all of the stunning foliage although stream crisscrossing was not as numerous.

In all, the total distance in doing this loop was 10.7 miles, using my GPS, whether it was accurate or not.

Advice to those interested: I understand that rains are frequent (and unexpectedly) during this time of the year, so be sure to have a poncho handy in case you need to use it. And I really mean it by using trekking poles. And to visitors from lower-elevation regions: Be sure to take some time to get acclimatized to higher elevations.

Pretty views of Battleship Rock

Solid class 3 scrambling at the traverse from Deception Peak


The trail is actually a nine-mile trail that ends south at Dead Cholla. Only the first two miles hug the gorge. Views are spectacular. Do this hike early in the morning or in the afternoon with cloudcover as it is totally exposed. Trailhead is at the rest stop. People can stay here for 24 hours.

1 day ago

Pristine wilderness. Makes you proud to be a New Mexican.
Not sure it the trail is really 6.4 miles.
Stick to the left of the Rio Nambe after the Windsor Trail forks.
Took about 5.2 miles to get there and 3.4 miles to return (following the trail to the left of the Rio).

The hot springs are amazing. Last 1/4 mile from road is not an easy trail but totally worth it. Don’t miss the cave half way.

The incline is very steady which makes this hike easier than you’d think for the elevation you gain. I backpacked there this weekend and it was beautiful. Lost Lake is a gem.

1 day ago

Hike was great all the way until the loop on top of the mesa. Trail seems to have washed away and there was a fire up there so lots of trees collapsed over what might have formerly been a trail.

Highly recommend taking a left once you get up the steep rocky portion around 3.6mi. There’s a neat rock formation over there you can catch your breath and look out across the valley. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have bothered with the loop around the top, though if you do poke around up there there’s a grave site to be found with candles, tobacco cans, and booze positioned around it.

The stream at the start/end of the trail was a nice chance to take a nice cool dip after the hike.

on Sun Mountain Trail

1 day ago

Good uphill hike with nice view.

on Dorothy Stewart Trail

1 day ago

Nice easy hike

This is my favorite trail in this area so far! Great weather today. I’ll be doing this one again.

2 days ago

Nice easy trail! Just be aware of your footing- big ants and dog poop here and there! Only a few skinny rocky spots to traverse. Good first hike for our vacation from FL!

2 days ago

This was spectacular. We arrived early and were glad we did. Got amazing photos and a great workout as well. Met lots of interesting people along the way as the traffic picked up considerable by 10:00. Would defiantly do this again. Took us about 2 hours. Take lots of water with you.

Great hike in the gorge, kind of boring topside. But it is really a good one all around otherwise.

2 days ago

It’s not long and it’s not difficult. And, the manufactured pavilion coverings really detract from the natural beauty. However! The first look out over the canyon is AMAZING!

Very beautiful trail with grass and flowers. The north-facing view at the end was great. We came back via the north crest trail giving us some shade and some westward views. We had to hike on the road for about 1/3 mike to get back to our car. Total distance doing this route was 6.7 miles.

2 days ago

Nice little hike out to Chimney Rock. Best to leave early in the morning before it gets too hot, as the trail is exposed the entire time.

Nice shaded trail. See the other side of the new trestle that you can view from 82. There is also a trail to the old trestle that has collapsed.

Note that this trail has been reopened. However, when we were headed to the trailhead via Wilderness Gate this morning at 7, neighbors driving by told us they had seen a large bear at the base of the mountain along the road, so we played it safe and hiked Picacho instead.

One of my favorite all time hikes ever.

2 days ago

Did a hike here once or twice back as a kid in the 90’s...let’s just say that it’s one of my few standards for comparing hikes to now.

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