Hiking in New Mexico

Hiking in New Mexico

My wife and I are getting ready to head out for an extended New Mexican vacation. Nine days in Taos then another 10 in Santa Fe with some stops to see Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands and a dip into Texas to to visit Guadalupe Mountains national park. I’ve been doing some research about where to hike so I thought I’d share it online. I’ll follow up with the actual experiences shortly after each adventure.

There are numerous great hiking trails near Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico not counting the National Parks I mentioned earlier. Here are a few that we’re planning on visiting.

Near Taos:

  1. Devisadero Loop Trail: A moderate 5.1-mile loop trail located near the town of Taos. The trail offers beautiful wildflower views during spring and summer.
  2. Wheeler Peak Summit Trail: This trail, located in the Taos Ski Valley, is a challenging but rewarding trek that leads to the highest point in New Mexico. It’s about a 16-mile round trip.
  3. Williams Lake Trail: Also located in the Taos Ski Valley, this is a moderate trail approximately 4 miles round trip, leading to the stunning Williams Lake.
  4. Rift Valley Trail: This is an easy trail, located near El Prado just outside of Taos. It offers beautiful views of the Rio Grande Valley and is suitable for all skill levels.
  5. Jemez Falls via the East Fort Trail: This is in the Santa Fe National Forest and it’s short about 0.7 miles out and back. The falls are supposed to be beautiful with a swimming hole to boot.

Near Santa Fe:

  1. Dale Ball Trails: Just a few minutes from downtown Santa Fe, this trail network offers a variety of routes for all skill levels. The trails are well-marked and offer beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the city of Santa Fe.
  2. Atalaya Mountain Trail: This is a moderate to difficult trail that leads to the top of Atalaya Mountain, providing panoramic views of Santa Fe and the surrounding area.
  3. Bandelier National Monument Trails: Although it’s a bit of a drive from Santa Fe, the trails here offer a chance to see ancient cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people.
  4. Nambe Lake Trail: This is a challenging, steep trail in the Santa Fe National Forest that leads to the beautiful Nambe Lake.
  5. Winsor Trail: This trail in Santa Fe National Forest offers a variety of options for short or long hikes. One popular option is to hike to Spirit Lake, which is about 10 miles round trip.

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