Selected Hiking Trails in New Mexico

Moreno Valley, New Mexico

The Carson and Santa Fe National Forests are full of hiking trails. There are also good trails in the Orilla Verde area and in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Areas of the Rio Grande and of the Chama River near Abiquiu.

Also crossing New Mexico is the 3,100 mile Continental Divide National Scenic Trail which, when completed, will provide spectacular backcountry travel the length of the Rocky Mountains from Mexico to Canada. It is the most rugged of the long distance trails. The trail was designated in 1978 and is designed to be an educational as well as a hiking experience. The trail traverses a variety of terrain, including high desert, forests, geologic formations, and mountain meadows. Along the way travelers can catch glimpses of a variety of historical, cultural and scenic landscapes, as well as abundant wildlife. Hiking opportunities range from short leisurely hikes to challenging alpine and desert segments.

Selected Hiking Trails in New Mexico

Chaco Culture National Historic Park contains more than 4,000 prehistoric ruins built by the Anasazi, the ancestors of the present-day Pueblo Indians. The lone campground fills quickly in summer so arrive early. Extensive trails wind through the excavated areas and there are 4 backcountry trails.

The Angel Peak National Recreation Area lies northwest of Chaco, offering camping, hiking and picnicking. This is an area of badlands, eroded remains of an ancient seabed.

El Malpais National Monument and Conservation Area lie to the south of Grants and offer many trails with primitive campsites among the rugged remnants of 3 million years of volcanic eruptions.

Wheeler Peak is at the center of 3.1 million acres of hiking and camping opportunities in north-central New Mexico. The Carson and Santa Fe National Forests, including the Wheeler Peak and Pecos Wilderness Areas, offer more than 1,300 miles of trails with 63 campgrounds.

Bandelier National Monument, near Los Alamos, offers paved hiking trails exploring ancient cliff dwellings and kivas along with many backcountry trails leading to other protected but unexcavated prehistoric ruins.

Cimarron Canyon State Park offers stunning palisade cliffs, excellent stream fishing, wildlife viewing, camping and hiking. Colin Neblett Wildlife Area and the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge also offer excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.

Cibola National Forest and 2 wilderness areas cover most of the Sandia and Manzano Mountains. They offer many hiking trails and several campgrounds.

The Rio Grande Nature Center, just minutes from downtown Albuquerque, offers plentiful cottonwoods, nature trails and excellent bird watching along the banks of the Rio Grande. logo
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