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

I don’t know about the other reviews, but I definitely recommend this trail. We went last week on Thursday and saw only one other hiker and his dog. We were actually grateful they had been out on the trail earlier than us because once we got to the last third of the trail it was snowing pretty steadily and we used his foot prints as a guide. The trail goes through several alpine meadows, meanders along the creek, goes through pine forest and reaches a somewhat steep uphill climb for the last mile. It’s beautiful! The views aren’t staggering but they change around every corner, keeping things interesting.

It was full on fall, yellow leaves everywhere, on the first few miles. By the time we reached Heart Lake, it was snowing and the wind was whipping at over 20mph. But we were dressed in warm layers and it wasn’t too bad. Only stayed at the top for a few minutes before beginning the descent. It took us about five hours because I stopped a lot to take photos.

The drive up to Cabresto Lake isn’t too bad for a “Jeep Road.”

Beautiful scenery. The trail is challenging in some spots but quite doable. The fall colors were amazing. The fallen Aspen leaves looked like golden glitter all over the trail. Spectacular!

Sure feels easy on the way down, but you definitely get the workout on the way back up. I completely agree with the Moderate rating - loose rocks at times, stepping over and around bigger rocks, fairly steep incline. Beautiful views down on the river as well as along the way. Check out the camp along the river, as well as the spring. We went in Oct., so the sun felt nice and not hot, to go with the cooling breezes. Nice pit toilet at the top, along with plenty of shaded picnic tables.

hiking
10 days ago

This is a decent trail for someone who just wants the cardio workout. Three stars not because this one is bad, but because there are many trails in this area that you should hike before this one.

Constant uphill grade, which is great. Lake was very green wish suspended sediment. Wind was quite strong. Fall colors were great. Plenty of really good water for the first 2.5 miles. Be sure to carry water after mile ~3.7 - you do not want to drink whatever is coming out of that lake unless you're forced to.

I cant recommend Middle Fork highly enough over this trail. Lost Lake is another local great.

hiking
10 days ago

We hiked this trail yesterday, it was definitely hard with some very steep inclines, especially the last one to get to the lake.
The lake is very pretty as are the views along the way, but it was very windy & cold, it was snowing/sleeting the last bit of the trail, so we took a few pictures at the lake and headed back down.
My Fitbit registered 12.1 miles round trip...I didn’t think we were ever going to get back to our truck! But glad we did it!

Beautiful scenery. We had a picnic by the river before heading back up. Well worth it

Beautiful hike!

The views were spectacular very little shade the sun was brutally hot if you have any issues with Heights this can be a pretty scary trail we only did about .3 miles down sat on the ledge enjoyed the view and then scramble back up again we briefly went back down to sit on that same ledge but since it wasVery hot that day we elected to not go any further still it was worth it to at least come out to this trail it’s about a good 30 minutes be on Questa it’s a very remote road there is a campsite there a water fountain and restrooms which was awesome

hiking
1 month ago

The Big Arsenic Springs trail takes you from the rim of the Rio Grande Gorge down a cliff face via multiple switchbacks which have been created with masonry, mortar and rock, making access through nearly vertical terrain possible. The park service has placed informational placards about certain flora and fauna along the trail which add interest and a chance for a brief break at certain points on the trail. After the steep descent, there is a central section which flattens out a bit before reaching an area of gradual descent to the Rio Grande river itself. At the bottom of the trail a beautiful spring creek's crystal clear water flows between large boulders into the river. I assume the water isn't palatable, given the name Arsenic Spring. There is a bit of poison ivy in this area so be on guard. I agree with another reviewer that the lean to shade pavilions at the bottom of the trail detract from the beauty of the area. The petroglyphs of bighorn sheep on a large boulder about 300 yards north of the Arsenic Spring are definitely worth a quick side trip. I've got to say, the ascent back up to the gorge rim was pretty rough on me, and I had a lot of knee and hip pain over a two week period. There were many stone lips on the vertical part of the trail, built to keep the water from washing out the trail, which meant a high step over them while climbing out. Overall the memory of this hike was great, and the scenery was excellent. I felt that the difficulty was under-rated and that it exceeded a moderate classification, mainly due to the condition of the trail.

love this trail!

camping
2 months ago

Great spot camping at the dispersed sites by the river. Beautiful views at the bottom of the canyon and fun time swimming in the river. August 2018.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike just an hour from Taos. With a walk around the lake it came in a 10.2 miles. We only saw one other hiker this day. Nice steady climb to the lake with only a couple of steeper spots. Hike is mostly through forest with no big views until you reach the lake. Nice stream next to the trail throughout. Lots of Aspen trees which could make this a great fall hike. Lake at the top is very nice and a great place to stop for lunch.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent trail. The difficulty starts to increase after passing through the 2nd meadow.

what a great walk. don't know that I would call this hike moderate. pretty easy trail. very scenic. not too much traffic on the trail. I recommend this hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views going down and up. You pretty much are going down or up, very little flat. The springs and the river are well worth the altitude change. The petroglyphs just past the camping area are very nice as well. 85 degrees, we needed more than the 2 bottles of water we brought.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Gets a little steep after mile 2.5. Went in 4 miles and then back out. Beautiful day

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months 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!

Beautiful trail, shady in the morning - the river is gorgeous at the bottom. It is a pull coming out of the canyon but worth it.

The trail was closed on 6/23/18 but the overlook is worth a side trip from other trails in area.

hiking
4 months ago

We hiked the trail today and want to notify all that La Junta trail (just the portion going into the canyon) is closed until further notice. You can still do the same hikes but need to take a different trail down into the gorge, either big or little arsenic. See prior post from dog owner. Great hike.

This was a great trail and hike for our family of 5! Even our 3 year old was able to complete part of Big Arsenic and all of Little Arsenic Trail! Weather was great at 71 F and the gorge was an amazing sight! Recommend this trail to all!

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome hike. Just remember bring anti tick spray.

CAUTION: For Dog Owners This WOULD have been a great trail do to IF I would have known about the three flights of steep spiked metal stairs my dog could not go down
Since so many people hike with their dogs I am surprised no one mentioned this?

Now they have.

Instead dog owners go to either Little or Big Arsenic trail(s) and hike back to La Junta like me and my puppy are doing right now!

Rugged beauty!

We started the hike going down La Junta (wow, just wow on views and trail). Went to the end of La Junta at the confluence of the rivers for lunch, then hiked along the River Trail to Big Arsenic Trail back up to the top and then hiked the flat Riconda Trail back to the car at the La Junta parking lot. Would not change a thing about the route. La Junta down was amazing and the trail between Little Arsenic and Big Arsenic was the prettiest part of our hike. We chose not to hike the additional mike os switch-back down to seek out the pictographs that may or not be easy to find since we have seen in other areas of the Southwest. Glad we didn't ton save energy for the flat walk back to the car. No regrets and glad we did it.

First time hiking this trail and absolutely loved it! Climbed out into the river to enjoy the sound of the water.

Very quite, mostly flat trail along the top of the Rio grande gorge.

backpacking
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Beautiful and challenging hike, we hiked it early August. Thanks to the good monsoon season it was amazingly green with tons of mushrooms along the way. The trail is shaded almost the entire way with the river running parallel to it. I am however surprised this trail is rated moderate; it is an aggressive incline the entire way up, rarely letting up. I would rate it an advanced/hard trail. But once you get there it's beautiful and worth the work. Latir Peak hangs overhead and great campsites around the lake. We didn't make it up to the peak, but will be back to head up for sure.
We got a nice mountain drizzle for a few minutes but lucked out and it cleared up to a beautiful afternoon. Tracked roughly 9 miles up and back and 2,360 elevation gain. We didn't end up doing the loop. It's an ass kicker for sure, especially with 25+ lbs on your back.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Technically, the Lajunta Trail is 1.2 miles down to where the Red River meets the Rio Grande River and 1.2 mikes back up. You can go farther, to other trails if you like, but the hike back up is very steep and rated as difficult. After hiking down .8, you come to a fork. That is where you can choose one of the longer trails. All of this info is available in the flyer at the trailhead.

hiking
Sunday, September 03, 2017

Father & 12 yr old Daughter hike. Proud of her. Not an easy one.

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