An incredible hiking trail descends into the Red River Canyon in northern New Mexico where the river flows west to meet the Rio Grande. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains tower in the distance.
Trails in Southern Colorado range from the majestic Spanish Peaks in the east to the rugged San Juan Mountains in the west. In between, hikers can scramble up the dunes in Great Sand Dunes National Park. In the east, San Isabel National Forests offers great hiking on Greenhorn Mountain, the Spanish Peaks, Cuchara Mountains, and the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area. In the west, San Juan National Forest offers up the towering 14,000 foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains. Hiking up the trail to the top of Uncompahgre Peak (14,309 feet) or Mount Sneffels (14,150 feet) rewards hikers with fantastic views of this incomparable area of Southern Colorado. Prior to hiking, hikers should check current conditions with the National Forests: https://www.fs.usda.gov/psicc and https://www.fs.usda.gov/sanjuan
This trail leads to Lily Lake in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness of Southern Colorado. Mount Blanca, a fourteener, towers in the far distance.
Hiking trails in northern New Mexico extend from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the east to the more gentle trails of the beautiful state parks in the northwest. Carson National Forest in the east offers rugged trails in the Sangre de Cristos, including a hike to the top on Wheeler Peak, New Mexico's highest (13,161 feet), accessed from the Taos Ski Valley area. Rio Grande del Norte National Monument stretches from Pilar in the south to Questa in the north, offering great hiking trails along the rim and to the bottom of the Rio Grande Gorge. Trails can be accessed from Pilar in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area and from Questa in the Wild Rivers Recreation Area. Campsites are available in both Areas. Santa Fe National Forest offers beautiful hiking trails in the Pecos Wilderness Area between Taos and Santa Fe, including long overnight backpacking journeys. Again, hikers should check current conditions with the National Forests: https://www.fs.usda.gov/carson and https://www.fs.usda.gov/santafe/
The Williams Lake Trail from Taos Ski Valley heads up steeply from the lake to Wheeler Peak, New Mexico's highest.
Southern New Mexico is different. You'll notice that as soon as you drive south of Albuquerque. The mountains trail off in the distance. Desert scenes surround you. The best times to visit southern New Mexico are spring and fall. Hiking in the summer is not advisable as temperatures climb near 100F. Winter hiking is possible, but it is usually too cold for overnight camping, so day hikes based out of a nice warm overnight hotel are preferable. All that being said, there are wonderful hikes in southern New Mexico. The State Parks have some great hikes. Scrambling among the gypsum dunes at White Sands National Park is always fun. And Carlsbad Caverns National Park offers scenic hikes both above and below ground. Farther west, the Gila National Forest north of Silver City offers some great hiking through mountains and canyons. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument has trails along the Gila River and up to the ancient cliff dwellings. And there are several hot springs in the area to soak your weary hiking bones!
The Gila Cliff Dwellings are tucked into caves in the canyon walls, accessible by an easy loop trail in the National Monument.
(The rest of our hiking section is currently under construction. Please check back often, and come explore with us!)