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

Valdez, New Mexico Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Great trail to work on running with extreme incline.

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.

This is a grueling hike that's way worth it. Views from the top are spectacular. We did Manzanita trail to Lobo Peak. took us just under 7 hours.

So this ski season is non existent but that means most of the trails we love during the summer are still accessible(-ish). This trail beats you up. It is the first trailhead as you head up to TSV. Pullouts for parking are adequate.

As of this writing (Feb. 4 2018) the first 1.5 miles are well packed and great. With the warm weather I would be cautious of the multiple stream crossings as the trail zig-zags across until you hit the major ascent at about 2 miles. They are currently firm and frozen but on my descent later in the afternoon they made some not so reassuring noises as my dog and I crossed.

At about 2 miles in I was making my own tracks (well following my dogs) but the trail was fairly obvious and if you pay attention you shouldn’t lose it.

At 2 miles(-ish) in the climb really starts. Given that it is Super Bowl Sunday I had to turn around at 2.5 miles in (not gonna miss kickoff), so I can’t comment beyond that. Hope the update helps in case anyone wants a great workout during this soul crushing ski season.

Please note the distances are approximate but relatively accurate. Also, I would discourage anyone who is not acclimated to this altitude and in good shape from attempting this hike beyond 1.5 miles in.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail and for me it was better in the winter. Usually this place is suppose to be swamped with snow but right now it was just right!

You gon’ rip the door handle off when you git there so excited to climb this one. Starts off real mild but halfway up you gon’ get the good stuff. Zigzag steeps mountain bears, jerk rabbits, gorillas n dragons all that. Get your leather man out, feel me? I’ll see you at the top butterbutt. Everything but her butt.

hiking
9 months ago

Lobo Peak means business! My husband, dog, and I hiked to Lobo Peak today, Sunday 10/29. We started around 7:50 am, parking in the pullout along 150. The trails are steep the entire way. On the way up, we took the Manzanita Canyon trail. It is between the Yerba Canyon and Italianos trails. We then took Yerba Canyon on the way down. I'm including info on both here since Manzanita Canyon is not listed on AllTrails. It took us 3:14 to reach the peak via Manzanita Canyon. It was 4.45 miles long. We took 2:30 to come down the Yerba Canyon trail, which was 4.3 miles from the peak to the trailhead. We then had to hike an additional ~3/4 mile along the road to complete the loop. Right about 6 hours for the full loop. We are both fairly competent hikers. Yerba Canyon is much steeper than Manzanita, particularly near the peak. It was very difficult to descend. If I were doing it again, I would not come down Yerba. Also, Yerba is more difficult to follow. Watch for yellow ribbons in the trees in some confusing spots. The Manzanita trail is much more obvious, plus not quite as steep. ~10 stream crossings via Manzanita and ~18 via Yerba. All crossings were fairly easy this time of year, though did have enough water for our dog to drink. Neither trail has very good views for most of the way, as there is heavy tree cover. However, the views from the summit of Lobo Peak are spectacular in all directions. No snow yet. We did not see anyone on Manzanita and saw only 3 people on Yerba. Doing a loop was nice for variety, but the road does not have a very wide shoulder to walk along.

Adventurous hike! We went up in mid September on a perfect sunny day. It took us about 4 hours to get to the top and we only met a few locals during the first 1,5 miles out for morning walks. After crossing the creek 18 times (dry feet in September!), the trail narrows considerably and climbs up very steeply for most of the rest of the way. There are some washed out areas and fallen trees. Hiking poles are highly recommended for both the up and downward hike. Be prepared to slide on loose gravel on your way down and plan extra time for the return trip.
Loved the ruggedness, loneliness and splendour of the hike and amazing view on top though! Well worth the hard effort.

hiking
Saturday, July 22, 2017

Gold Hill is definitely worth the trek. Climbing from Goose, be sure to have poles because the trail is steep with loose skree.

No water along this trail, and it's further than it looks, so take water ands few calories with you.

Fantastic views from the top!

My wife & I did the trail on Wednesday. 4 hours up, weather was perfect, and didn't see another person the whole hike. Tougher than we expected, but the payoff was outstanding. The creek is now low enough you can cross it dry, 18 times each way if my count is right.

Great hike along water the whole time. Water was high- lots of water crossings- be prepared to get feet wet. Hiked 2 miles up for a good view - but didn't make it to the snowy top.

hiking
Saturday, November 26, 2016

I love the trails in this area. The weather was perfect, in early October. This trail was very steep in places and difficult. Pace yourself, and leave early. Not many people take this trail I only saw four others all day. The Aspens were yellow and shimmering. The views are spectacular! However, this trail was actually more difficult, overall, than the Wheeler Peak trail in my opinion. It's taxing to do in one day, unless you are in top physical condition.

backpacking
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Used this trail to backpack up to summit over four days. Great trail with two great camping locations at 2 and 5 miles out from the trail head. Attempting summit can be a bit tricky and requires a lot of pace if you want to attempt the entire trail in one day.

great hike and close to town!

hiking
Sunday, July 20, 2014

Awesome hike! Saw marmots and mountain goats. Great terrain, beautiful wildflowers. Nice challenge. Amazing view at the top. Explore along the ridge!

hiking
Sunday, July 14, 2013

Great hike, especially the section of the trail above tree line. Wonderful views to the south. Plan to get an early start to be back below treeline before afternoon thunderstorms roll in. And a post-hike beer at the Bavarian is a must!

hiking
Thursday, March 08, 2012

Trail is incorrect shown as near Valdez, NM. In fact it is near Red River, NM
Yskr 4WD road to Goose Lake. Hike up switchbacks above lake and go north on ridge, follow trail to Gold Hill. Easy climb. Fanstastic views. The back side, once over the ridge is full of old mining sites. Interesting. And just a short, 2 mile hike to Taos Ski Valley.

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
9 months ago

Sunday, July 30, 2017