In this article we want to highlight a few of the more popular and scenic hikes in Northern New Mexico. By all means, this list and description represents only a tiny sample of the Northern New Mexico's hiking and biking trails. The sample of New Mexico hiking trails described below all excellent day hiking routes and are easy to moderate in rating.
Some Interesting Trails
|Big Tesuque Trail|
This is the Aspen Fir area of the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This is a good day hike trail which is suitable spring through autumn. During autumn it's very popular for those wanting to see the golden aspen leaves that cover this part of the mountain.This is a 7.5 mile hike which is mostly downhill with a change in elevation of about 2,400 feet. You would want to leave a car at the Chamisa trailhead which is about 6 miles from the center of Santa Fe. This is considered a moderate hike.
|Aspen Vista Trail|
This is a wide trail and actually a road which is closed to vehicles and to snowmobiles. It is an excellent cross country ski and snow shoe trail. Aspen Vista is another excellent trail to view the beautiful gold aspen leaves as they change to a golden color in early autumn. The best aspen viewing time is usually the first week or so of October. Similar to the Big Tesuque Trail, the Aspen Vista Trail traverses the Santa Fe National Forest in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
|A view from the Chamisa Trail|
The Chamisa trailhead location is the parking area on the left side of Hyde Park Road aboutsix miles north of the Santa Fe Plaza. You will be interested in our Western Trips story and photos on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.
|The trails at Cerrillos Hills State Park|
One of the fun things about the trails at Cerrillos Hills is that they pass by old abandoned and closed up mines from the 1800's. Along many of the trails, hikers will discover many sealed mines, most with interpretive signs providing information about the region during its heyday. Mining in this region included gold, silver, turquoise, zinc and lead. The views on these well maintained trails are terrific.
Additional photos and articles you'll enjoy on our Western Trips site are Historic Cerrillos New Mexico and Gila County Arizona History and Hiking and Hiking the Crescent Moon Ranch Trail in Sedona Arizona
The two books listed for sale at the top of this article are among the excellent hiking trail books on the market. In addition to the New Mexico trails described in the Falcon Guide, the Pacific Crest Trail hike is another very adventurous journey you'll find quite interesting.
Hiking in New Mexico is a fun addition to any western road trip planner. More information regarding the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Santa Fe National Forest and Hyde Memorial State Park can be found at New Mexico Parks and at the USDA Forest Service Santa Fe National Forest site.
(Photos from author's private collection)